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Thursday, April 21, 2005

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St. Anselm

Acts 13:13-25
Psalm 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27
John 13:16-20

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"to forgive is divine"

"I solemnly assure you, no slave is greater than his master; no messenger outranks the one who sent him. Once you know all these things, blest will you be if you put them into practice." —John 13:16-17

Four weeks ago today was Holy Thursday, when we remembered Jesus washing the apostles' feet and heard Him tell us to do the same. Foot-washing is the symbol for loving even enemies to the point of laying down our lives for them. Since Jews begin their day in the evening, Jesus began the day of His death by washing the apostles' feet and ended the day by dying on the cross. He even washed the feet of Judas, although He knew Judas would sell Him for thirty pieces of silver.

Has our foot-washing from one month ago become anything more than a symbol? In this Easter season, have we let the Lord do the miracle of miracles, giving us unconditional love even for the Judases in our lives? Are we actively reaching out in love to those who don't love us? Are we forgiving those who have not apologized or even asked forgiveness? Are we letting the risen Christ break down barriers between us and ex-spouses, abusive parents, insensitive and hurtful pastors, and unfair employers? We all have tombs of unforgiveness and resentment. Only the risen Jesus can give us the love to rise from the death of hurtful and broken relationships. Let's wash each other's feet, even those of Judas.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I be like You by seeking to die for my enemies rather than wanting them to die.

Promise:  "I solemnly assure you, he who accepts anyone I send accepts Me, and in accepting Me accepts Him Who sent Me." —Jn 13:20

Praise:  It was said that St. Anselm believed that everything he experienced served to raise his mind to God.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Forgiveness on audio AV 54-1 or video V-54.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004

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