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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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

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do good to those who hate you

“Pray for your persecutors.” —Matthew 5:44

A friend of mine had a boss who made her life difficult, even trying to run her out of a job. She took her frustrations to Confession. The priest advised her to pray for the good of her boss, saying, “It’s hard to hate someone for whom you are praying.” Some time later, when hearing that her boss was to undergo surgery, she approached her boss and offered to pray right then and there. The prayers were welcomed, and helped calm the fears of her boss.

My friend was imitating God the Father, Who sends sunshine and nourishing rain upon both good and wicked people (Mt 5:45). She also imitated the Lord Jesus, Who laid down His life for those who hurt and hated Him (see Rm 5:8, 10). “If you love those who love you, what merit is there in that? Do not tax collectors do as much?” (Mt 5:46) Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan to teach us how to do good to those who actively hate us (see Lk 10:30-37).

Loving and blessing enemies is the litmus test of a disciple of Jesus Christ. “This will prove that you are [children] of your heavenly Father” (Mt 5:45). “Love your enemy...You will rightly be called [children] of the Most High, since He Himself is good to the ungrateful and the wicked” (Lk 6:35).

Prayer:  Father, open wide my heart to love as Jesus loves.

Promise:  “You must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” —Mt 5:48

Praise:  Jerry was healed of a broken leg overnight when his daughter prayed for him.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(For a related teaching on Divine Love, listen to, download or order our CD 52-3 or DVD 52 on our website.)

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