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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

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2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Psalm 146
Matthew 5:43-48

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perfect love

"Be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." —Matthew 5:48

Now I will show you the way of perfection (1 Cor 12:31).   

Jesus commands us to be made perfect. He then must necessarily make available to us the grace to be perfect. In fact, Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit. "The love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us" (Rm 5:5). "God is love" (1 Jn 4:8), and we have been given God's very own love. Love is the way of perfection (1 Cor 12:31), and God has given us all we need to be perfect in love.

Jesus, Love incarnate (1 Jn 4:16), made Himself poor (2 Cor 8:9) for our sake. Like Jesus, we are to love one another (Jn 15:12-13) so much that we decrease to the point of laying down our lives. We do whatever it takes to pour ourselves out in love. We become poor (2 Cor 8:9), humble ourselves (Mt 23:12), decrease (Jn 3:30), and even happily disappear in self-forgetfulness (Jn 3:29) if that's what it takes to love one another.

Because Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit within us, we are never limited in loving. We can even love in the most perfect way, that is, loving our enemies. Our "love never fails" (1 Cor 13:8). There is no limit to our ability to love those who hurt us (1 Cor 13:7).

"Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). Drink deeply from the fountain of perfect love. Live in the love of Jesus (Jn 15:9).

Prayer:  Jesus, You are Love incarnate. Fill me with the Holy Spirit so I may spread Your love to my friends and enemies (Mt 5:44).

Promise:  "Happy he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord, his God." —Ps 146:5

Praise:  Despite having a large family and owning his own business, Jack donates his time to repair and upgrade computers for a Catholic ministry.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

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