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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

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1 Kings 21:17-29
Psalm 51:3-6, 11, 16
Matthew 5:43-48

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thank god for enemies

"If you love those who love you, what merit is there in that?" —Matthew 5:46

There are so many good people in the world, who are very willing to give money and work hard for a good cause. There are also many prayerful people in the world, who are extremely disciplined and pray for hours to their gods. There are many decent, upstanding citizens. They believe in law and order and in restoring moral norms to our society. However, none of these people are necessarily children of God, as good, prayerful, and decent as they may be.

The proof we are children of God is that we act like the Son of God, Jesus, in loving and dying for our enemies (Mt 5:44-45). No one can do this except God's children. What sets Christians apart is love for our enemies. We should thank God for our enemies because they provide situations in which we can prove we're God's children and that Christianity is not another religion or philosophy but is in a class by itself.

When was the last time you expressed love for your enemies? Have you given them any gifts lately? (see Lk 15:22) Have you had any special dinners in their honor? (see Lk 15:23) Would you wash their feet (see Jn 13:5) or even die for them? By God's grace, you can do the impossible and love your enemies.

Prayer:  Father, may I be perfect as You are perfect (Mt 5:48).

Promise:  "Have mercy on me, O God, in Your goodness; in the greatness of Your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me." —Ps 51:3-4

Praise:  Michael was not at peace until he was able to reach out in a concrete way to another who had deeply wronged him.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Divine Love on audio AV 52-3 or video V-52.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2009

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