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Friday, January 22, 2010

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St. Vincent

1 Samuel 24:3-21
Psalm 57:2-4, 6, 11
Mark 3:13-19

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crucified, unconditional, absurd, impossible, divine, christian _______

"The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, as to lay a hand on him, for he is the Lord's anointed." —1 Samuel 24:7

David refrained from killing Saul, God's anointed one, although Saul had tried to kill David several times. However, Jesus, the Christ (the Anointed One), not only refused to kill His enemies, but even chose to be killed by them. Jesus not only forgave His enemies, but died for love of them. This is unconditional, self-sacrificing, divine love. This crucified love seems absurd "to those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God" (1 Cor 1:18).

Jesus calls us, His followers, to love as He loves (Jn 13:34). He commands us to lay down our lives for each other, even for our enemies. This is impossible for us to do or even want to do, but "nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37).

When we love as Jesus loves, not only taking up the cross but hanging on it for our enemies, we will be Christians in the fullest sense. "They'll know we are Christians by our love" (see Jn 13:35), by our crucified love for enemies.

Look at a picture of Jesus on the cross. Choose the absurdity of the cross: to die for your enemies, to do the humanly impossible, to love as Jesus loves, to be Christian.

Prayer:  Father, may Your love in my life be incomprehensible to anyone not focused on the cross of Jesus.

Promise:  "He named twelve as His companions whom He would send to preach the good news; they were likewise to have authority to expel demons." —Mk 3:14-15

Praise:  Spain's first martyr, St. Vincent's crucified love led him to endure great tortures during his martyrdom without compromising his faith.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Jesus, the Redeemer on audio AV 50-3 or video V-50.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009

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