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Only Love

My command to you is: love your enemies, pray for your persecutors. This will prove you are sons of your heavenly Father
Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18; Psalm 103:1-4,8,10,12-13; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5:38-48

Sermon Week Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 5:44-45

In the famous novel, "The Diary of a Country Priest," -1 there is a moving scene in which the priest encounters a woman who is completely turned in on herself. She has been abandoned by her daughter and betrayed by her husband. Death has claimed her young son. And her heart has hardened. Beseeching her to unlock her hardened heart, the priest says, "Hell is not to love anymore."

A well-known psychologist asserts that the business of loving another human being is the most challenging of all human enterprises because of the demands it makes on us. Because of these demands, many of us never have loved another person deeply. Or perhaps we have loved one or two deeply and have been hurt by it, and so we have retreated. One of the greatest needs today is the strength to be able to move in and love another person at a profound level. We know the tragedy of so many husbands and wives who live together for years and never really get to know each other as persons. We know how commonplace it is for men and women to miss the fantastic opportunity which marriage and family life and good friendship present: to move down to deep levels of sharing this life.

For many of us, the boundaries of our love are narrow and very exclusive. Perhaps we love the members of our family to some degree, and maybe a few other people. Maybe we talk about loving the poor and the lonely and the disadvantaged, but not with a great deal of conviction. And probably we never talk about loving our enemies. For many of us, it is as though there is a large paper clip around our life, which prevents us from growing and expanding.

Consequently, our life is closed to "outsiders," "foreigners," people who are "different." It is easier to categorize them than to love them. For some of us, the only area of growth in life is our "Enemies List."

But God, in His great Love, keeps on working on us. God wants to liberate us [...]

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