Monday, March 6, 2017

First Monday of Lent

You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart.  Though you may have to reprove him, do not incur sin because of him.  Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

Hatred is not from God. Even those who are the enemies of God and persecutors of His children are loved by God. He loves them because He made them. He gave them the ability to choose right over wrong and He continues to offer them His Hand in forgiveness if they will take it with humble and contrite hearts. If God, who is constantly sinned against and suffered terribly during His Passion, can love His enemies, then we must do the same. We might not like someone, but we can choose to love them. We might be tempted to avenge ourselves against those who have done us wrong. However, God does not desire revenge, He wants us to know, love, and serve others as best as we can. This does not mean condoning evil or standing idly by when we see someone do wrong, but that when we confront others we do so out of love and not out of anger or hatred.

Do we need to cleanse ourselves of any hatreds? How can we learn to love even those whom we dislike or who have hurt us? How can we live out the commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves?

O Lord, empty us of all hatred and fill us with your Divine Love.


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