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Thursday, April 3, 2003

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Exodus 32:7-14
Psalm 106:19-23
John 5:31-47

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i wouldn't trade my enemies for the world

"Let Me alone, then, that My wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation." —Exodus 32:10

The Lord offered Moses the opportunity to start all over without the bothersome people who made his life so difficult. But Moses prefigured Jesus and chose the cross of loving people who were not very loving or lovable.

We all are tempted to be discontent with the people the Lord has put into our lives to love. We wish our spouses were perfect, our children were angels, and our parents were sinless. We sigh: "If only my pastor were a canonized saint and my fellow parishioners were holy, understanding, sensitive, and dedicated!" What if God offered you what He offered Moses! Would you let the Lord remove all your problem-people and leave you with a crossless life of little love?

Jean Paul Sartre, a French philosopher, claimed: "Hell is other people." In fact, other people are not hell. Rather they are the cross by which we stay out of hell and go to heaven. The person who gives you the most problems is your best opportunity to love as Jesus loves. Consequently, thank the Lord for your enemies because, if there is such a thing as "a ticket to heaven," your enemy holds your ticket. If your enemies were removed, how could you love them? Your enemies provide you the opportunity to become children of God the Father (Mt 5:44-45). Thank the Lord for the gift of your enemies.

Prayer:  Father, may I choose a life of maximum love, not maximum pleasure.

Promise:  "These very works which I perform testify on My behalf that the Father has sent Me." —Jn 5:36

Praise:  When tempted to be annoyed with the people in her life, Zelda reflects upon the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Reference:  (For information on Presentation Ministries' Women's Retreat and ten-day series of Discipleship Retreats, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002