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Saturday, June 16, 2001

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2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Psalm 103
Matthew 5:33-37

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the reason is the treason

"The love of Christ impels us who have reached the conviction that since one died for all, all died. He died for all so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for Him." —2 Corinthians 5:14-15

St. Lawrence Justinian taught: "God places more value on good will in all we do than on the works themselves" (Sermon 8, On the Feast of the Purification of Mary). The Lord is concerned with our actions and even more concerned with our motives. T.S. Eliot wrote in Murder in the Cathedral: "The greatest treason is to do the right thing for the wrong reason." On Judgment Day, the Lord "will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and manifest the intentions of hearts" (1 Cor 4:5).

The Lord commands us not only to do His will but to do it motivated by love. Paul proclaimed: "The love of Christ impels us" (2 Cor 5:14), for without love even the greatest acts are of no value (1 Cor 13:1-3). The Lord wants all our work to be a labor of love (1 Thes 1:3).

Therefore, ask the Lord to search your heart (Ps 139:23; Acts 1:24), purify it (see 1 Tm 1:5), and give you the pure motive of love in all your works. Thus you will please Him and be saved from the wrath to come (see 1 Thes 5:9).

Prayer:  Father, give me "the love that springs from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith" (1 Tm 1:5).

Promise:  "This means that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old order has passed away; now all is new!" —2 Cor 5:17

Praise:  Rachel reached out to love a difficult, elderly neighbor. She felt rewarded when this neighbor turned to her in time of grave sickness.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, January 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 24, 2001