Beloved:This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.Of these I am the foremost.

I should probably start and end this post with one simple word – AMEN.

Good morning all – I hope you had a nice vacation…I know I did. I believe my last post was right before I went on my first two week vacation in my adult life. It was very nice and relaxing. One problem was that I got out of the habit of doing this every morning and before I knew it…July, August (and now 11 days into September) has passed. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun…or working long hours.

One quick prayer for 9/11 – May the Souls of the Just, through the Mercy of God, Rest in Peace. It is hard to believe that this tragedy occurred 20 years ago.

The readings this week have been both beautiful and challenging. We read the “judge not lest you be judges”, the “pull the beam out of your own eye before pulling the splinter our of your neighbors” and today Jesus warns us to dig deeply and lay our foundations on rock so when the floods waters come (and they will come), it will hit your house but not but not shake it. But I want to focus on Thursday’s readings.

St. Paul basically sums up the whole of Christian life in three simple words – Put On Love. Struggling with your children? Put on Love. Struggling with your job, your boss, your employees? Put on Love. In everything we do – IN EVERYTHING WE DO, we should always show LOVE; just as our Father, our Brother, our Holy Spirit have shown each of us. All that our Triune God has done since the beginning of time is show us LOVE. Struggling with a political enemy? Put on Love. This simple statement cannot be stated enough…

And over all these put on love,
that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one Body.
And be thankful.

If we love one another,
God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

In the Gospel, Jesus offers the basis of what it means to Put On Love…

Jesus said to his disciples:
“To you who hear I say, love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well,
and from the person who takes your cloak,
do not withhold even your tunic.

Give to everyone who asks of you,
and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For if you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners do the same.

If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners,
and get back the same amount. 
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;

then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;

a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure

will in return be measured out to you.”

As many of you who know me know that I am not a fan of our current President. Having said that, there hasn’t been a day since he was sworn into office that I have not prayed for him in my morning prayers. But in a recent speech given after the suicide bombing at the airport, he made a statement that I feel compelled to speak out against. His exact words…”We will not Forgive and We will not Forget.” I am as disgusted about the deaths of those 13 men and women who were killed in this horrible attack. I was moved the other day watching thousands of St. Louisans gather along Interstate 70 to welcome home Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz – who lost his life during that attack. Thousands – many of those who didn’t know LC Schmitz at all – gathered to welcome home this young man and to offer support to his family. That is something we will not forget. That bombing, the memorials we will all see today of that tragic day 20 years ago — we will never forget those tragedies. We may never forget – BUT WE MUST ALWAYS FORGIVE. We have to. If we don’t, how can we ever have the peace that Jesus taught us to bring to everyone. Did Christ only save those He loved? Did Christ only heal those who were part of His inner circle? Did Christ eat with the sinners? Let’s go back to the line from Thursday’s Gospel…

But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.

Do something great for our Lord today – Forgive and you will be forgiven. And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Jesus, I trust in You.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness. Compete well for the faith.

Put On Love.

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