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Daily Devotional for September 27

September 27                                                 Matthew 5:38-48

            "Love your enemies... so that you may be
      children of God who is in heaven; for God makes
       the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and
            sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

How can we love our enemies? Is it possible to love someone
who has hurt us? Yes, Jesus says in today's Gospel, not only
is it possible, but we must do it. As Christians, we are asked
to love our enemies and pray even for those who persecute
us. God loves us, and so we must learn to love each other.
We are to love each other even when we disappoint each other.
But how can we do this?

Love is not just a feeling, it is an action. To truly love someone,
we must be willing to act with love, even when we don't feel
particularly loving. We must become willing to love someone
just because he or she is also a child of God. Once we have
opened ourselves to this kind of loving, our love and respect
for our fellow humans is not easily shaken by external circum-
stances. We begin to love people because of who they are,
not what they do.

We can love a person even while saying that we will not accept
certain behavior. Gandhi showed both his love and his protest
by using nonviolent means. Loving someone also means being
willing to speak out when we do not agree with the person's
actions. If we allow people to abuse themselves or others in
the name of love, we are not following the way of Christ. We
are choosing to live in fear or denial instead.

Take time to reflect today on those whom you love. If there
is hatred within you toward any of God's children,
acknowledge it, then let it go. Offer it up to God and do not
take it back. Experience the healing love of Christ, and be set
free. This is the way we learn to love one another.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989


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