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Sunday Readings for Feb. 20, 2011 (7A)
By Father Cusick
"...love your enemies, pray for your persecutors."
Christianity is a radical way of life. Only the Christian, through the demands of his faith, forgives and prays for his enemies. The Catechism speaks of this hard saying which Christ teaches in today's Gospel:
"Christian prayer extends to the forgiveness of enemies, (Mt 5:43-44) transfiguring the disciple by configuring him to his Master. Forgiveness is a high-point of Christian prayer; only hearts attuned to God's compassion can receive this gift of prayer. Forgiveness also bears witness that, in our world, love is stronger than sin. The martyrs of yesterday and today bear this witness to Jesus. Forgiveness is the fundamental condition of the reconciliation of the children of God with their Father and of men faith one another. (2 Cor 5: 18-21)" (CCC 2844)
In our prayers, we must honestly call to mind our enemies, and pray for them with the faith that, as Christ forgives us, so must we forgive all those who have wronged us. We pray at each Mass, "...forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us", so that we will meet Christ as our merciful Redeemer and just Judge both now and forever.
Looking forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" - Father Cusick