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Thursday, August 14, 2008

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St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

Ezekiel 12:1-12
Psalm 78:56-59, 61-62
Matthew 18:21—19:1

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"the quality of mercy"

"Moved with pity, the master let the official go and wrote off the debt." —Matthew 18:27

The Lord commands us to forgive indefinitely and to express our forgiveness not just by kindness and patience but by mercy. We don't just give those who have offended us time to pay us back, but we write off the debt and take the loss ourselves (Mt 18:27). For example, if someone hits your car, God's way of forgiving may require more than controlling your temper and being understanding. God's forgiveness may mean paying for the damage yourself. This is mercy, which is the essence of God's forgiveness.

God expressed His mercy by sending His Son Jesus to atone for all our sins. The cost of mercy is the life, blood, and death of Jesus. The Lord expects us to pass on to others the mercy He has given us (Mt 18:33). He lets us share in His mercy by filling up in our own bodies what is lacking in His sufferings (Col 1:24). Instead of making others pay for what they've done, we pay for it not only financially but also emotionally. Thereby we share with Jesus in His sufferings and will share with Him in His glory. "Blest are they who show mercy; mercy shall be theirs" (Mt 5:7).

Prayer:  Father, work the miracle of mercy in me.

Promise:  "Should you not have dealt mercifully with your fellow servant, as I dealt with you?" —Mt 18:33

Praise:  St. Maximilian prayed for the souls of the Nazis who persecuted him.

Reference:  (No matter what our state in life is, we are all called to have a relationship with Jesus. Divorced and widowed people, come renew your relationship with Jesus at two retreats held concurrently which are focused on your state in life, Sept. 12 & 13 at our retreat center in Adams County, OH. Call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397 to register.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008

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