Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

June 16, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

 

First Book of Kings 21:17-29

Psalm 51

Matthew 5:43-48

 

It has been said that the easiest words to say to someone are “I love you.”  Conversely, the hardest words to say to someone are “I’m sorry.”   Having said that, obeying the command our Lord asks us in today’s Gospel narrative, that is, “…to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” may be, in some cases, impractical, unreasonable, and down right difficult.  Or is it?

Monday through Saturday of this week in the “Divine Office of the Liturgy of the Hours” there is a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by Saint Cyprian, (c.200-+256,) bishop and martyr.  It begins with calling God “Our Father” on Monday and on Friday he speaks about “Forgiving those who trespass against us.”   Saint Cyprian reminds us in paragraph one on page 377 of Book III:

            “God bids us to be peace-loving, harmonious and of one mind in His house; He wants us to live with the new life He gave us at our second birth.  As sons of God, we are to abide in peace; as we have one Spirit, we should be one in mind and heart.  Thus God does not receive the sacrifice of one who lives in conflict; and He orders us to turn back from the altar and be first reconciled with our brother, that God too may be appeased by the prayers of one who is at peace.  The greatest offering we can make to God is our peace, harmony among fellow Christians, a people united with the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirt.”

How then can we possibly love those who cause us harm or ill-will?  “With God all things are possible!”  He gives power and grace to those who believe and accept the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  His love conquers all, even our hurts, fears and prejudices.  Only the cross of Jesus Christ can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge and resentment and gives us the courage to return evil with good.

We can take solace in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Question of the Day:  How will you pray for your “enemies” and pray for those who persecute you?   

Prayer:  Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.  Amen

Please continue to pray for the victims of the Coronavirus and for all who are affected by this unprecedented pandemic as well as for peace in our country and in our world.

Prosit

 

 

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