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Thursday, September 13, 2012

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St. John Chrysostom

1 Corinthians 8:1-7, 11-13
Psalm 139:1-3, 13-14, 23-24
Luke 6:27-38

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getting even, getting on top,getting back

"Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." —Luke 6:27

When we are hurt, we feel like retaliating. We feel like not just giving an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth (see Mt 5:38), a punch for a punch, or a hurt for a hurt, but an extra punch or two "for good measure." We want to do more than get even; we want to be one up on our enemies.

Jesus believes we should retaliate for hurts done against us by giving "one more for good measure." The difference between Jesus and human nature is that Jesus wants us to retaliate with the opposite of the hurt rather than more of the same. Paul understood this and taught: " 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; by doing this you will heap burning coals upon his head.' Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good" (Rm 12:20-21).

Instead of returning blow for blow, we can return good for bad, a blessing for a curse, and a prayer for an insult (Lk 6:27-28). In so doing, we still give our enemies "one for good measure." If they take our coats, we give them more — even our shirts (Lk 6:29). According to God's ways, not yours, get back at those who have hurt you.

Prayer:  Father, may my love for my enemies be obviously supernatural.

Promise:  "O Lord, You have probed me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand; You understand my thoughts from afar." —Ps 139:1-2

Praise:  St. John preached the Truth even to a heretic patriarch and empress. He was exiled twice for his public stand for holiness.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Unforgiveness is the Cause, our booklet, The Book on Forgiveness, or our audio tape AV 41-1.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012

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