7th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Sunday, February 24, 2019

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Father Jim Donohue

February 19, 2019

Part of the Charism Statement for the Congregation of the Resurrection reads: “We believe that God’s love for us is merciful and unfailing. We have not earned his love. We are nothing, have nothing, and can do nothing without God. We are attracted to evil. We are sinners. Yet, God continues to draw us to himself.”

This section of the Charism Statement provides a motivation for us to love our enemies. We are sinners, yet God has forgiven us. We are sinners, yet God has loved us. We are called to give—forgiveness and love—what we have received, even to those, who like us in our relationship with God, are unworthy and undeserving of this forgiveness and love. What has been received freely should be given freely.

There are other reasons for us to love our enemies. Perhaps none is more appropriate than noting that when we love our enemies, we are imitating Jesus. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus prayers, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). This can be, of course, difficult and we need God’s grace within us to help us to forgive and love as God forgives and loves. Or, as another sentence of the Charism Statement puts it, “The power of the Spirit forms Christ in us, and moves us to respond with love to the Father’s great love for us.”