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Saturday, March 15th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 5:43-48.


Saturday of the First week of Lent

15 MARCH 2014

“I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5:43-48.

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect

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Saturday of the First week of Lent

Commentary of the day

Saint Caesarius of Arles (470-543), monk and Bishop
Sermons to the people, no. 37 ; SC 243

“But I say to you, love your enemies”

One of you will say: “I’m not able to love my enemies at all.” All through Holy Scripture God has said to you that you can, and do you answer him that, to the contrary, you can’t? Now think about it: who are we to believe? God or you? Since he who is Truth itself cannot lie let human weakness leave off its futile excuses forthwith. He who is just cannot demand something impossible and he who is merciful will not condemn someone for something that person could not avoid. So why these evasions then? There is no one who knows better what we are capable of than he who has given us the ability. Such numbers of men, women, children, tender young girls, have borne flames, fire, sword and the wild beasts for Christ’s sake without flinching, and we, do we say that we cannot bear the insults of unintelligent persons?…

Indeed, if only the good are to be loved, what are we to say of the action of our God, of whom it is written: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son”? (Jn 3,16). For what good deeds are they that the world had done for God to love it so? Christ our Lord found us all to be not only evil but even dead on account of original sin; and yet… “he loved us and handed himself over for us” (Eph 5,2). In so acting he loved even those who did not love him, as the apostle Paul also says: “Christ died for the guilty” (Rm 5,6). And in his inexpressible mercy he gave this example to all humankind, saying: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart” (Mt 11,29)

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