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“I give you a new commandment, says the Lord; love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34

Today’s Gospel is a tall order.  Love your enemies, turn the other cheek, and if someone takes your cloak, give them your tunic as well.

Reminds me of John Lennon’s utopian—and boundaries-free—“Imagine”…   “imagine all the people living’ life in peace… nothing to kill or die for…. And no religion, too.”

No religion.  Really?

My “Imagine” goes this way:  Imagine a world in which we practice Jesus’ religion of compassion and contradict (even flagrantly violate) our more predictable codes of behavior.  Here’s an example:  You’re sitting in the parking lot with your brand new car.  Haven’t even made the first payment on it yet.  Then someone drives up and parks right next to you, opens the door with brio, and puts a nice dent in your shiny new vehicle.  Eyes meet.  What do you do?

Imagine the most ridiculously generous and totally unexpected thing you could do for the door slammer.  Imagine what you would want someone to do to you if you were the offending party.  Searching for clues, I think of Luke 6:36:  “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.”  Does that mean being a pushover or someone who is robotically compassionate?  I don’t think so, even though I myself have to deal at times with typical “first reactions” that I wouldn’t want broadcast anywhere.

Friend, the Kingdom of God arrives on planet earth when we contradict our normal and maybe even fair-minded ways.  I believe that what motivates us to rethink the thorns of life has something to do with wanting to be a better person—God-like if you will—and becoming worthy of salvation in Christ.  His promise after all—“Forgive and you will be forgiven”—is a really good place to start.  Let me know how you do.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Lance Nadeau, M.M.

 

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lord Jesus, from the cross

You asked the Father to forgive those

who hated You and wanted You dead.

Help me follow Your example

and fulfill Your commandment

especially when I lack the will or

desire to forgive those who harm me

or wish me ill.

Help me to at least imitate You

by praying for my enemies when

I lack the desire to forgive them myself.

Remind me of my own faults and failings

when I too stood in need of forgiveness

and help me surrender all thoughts

of resentment and vengeance

to make room in my mind and heart

for Your most amazing grace.

I stand before Your most glorious

throne of Mercy and fervently pray

for all who have wronged me

that I might be free from all unhealthy

thoughts of getting even or paying back.

I commend my wounded past to Your

healing presence and merciful heart

that with Your saints, I too might one day

enjoy the company of the saints In the light of Christ forever.

Amen.

Prayer by Father Joe Veneroso, M.M.

ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. James M. Lynch, Fr. Lam M. Hua, Fr. Lance P. Nadeau, Fr. Timothy O. Kilkelly)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Rev. Lance P. Nadeau, M.M.

OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier
“Go where you are needed but not wanted, and stay until you are wanted but not needed.”
– Bishop James E. Walsh, M.M.
First Maryknoll Bishop