Deacon Jim Olson’s Homily
March 1, 2021
230 3-1-21 2nd WOL Luke 6:36-38
Overcome evil with mercy and goodness
How can we possibly love those who cause us grief, harm, or ill-will? With God all things are possible. He gives power and grace to those who trust in His love and who seek His wisdom and help. The Lord is ready to work in and through us by His Holy Spirit, both to purify our minds and hearts and to help us do what is right, good, and loving in all circumstances. Paul the Apostle reminds us that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5) God’s love conquers all, even our hurts, injuries, fears, and prejudices. Only the cross of Jesus Christ and His victory over sin can free us from the tyranny of malice, hatred, revenge, and resentment, and give us the courage to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). Such love and grace have the power to heal, restore, and transform us into the image of Christ. Do you know the power of Christ’s redeeming love and mercy? Lord Jesus, your love brings freedom, pardon, and joy. Transform my heart with your love that nothing may make me lose my temper, ruffle my peace, take away my joy, or make me bitter towards anyone.
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: The Practice of Mercy, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.”The practice of mercy is twofold: when vengeance is sacrificed and when compassion is shown. The Lord included both of these in his brief sentence: ‘Forgive, and you shall be forgiven; give, and it shall be given to you.’ This work has the effect of purifying the heart, so that, even under the limitations of this life, we are enabled with pure mind to see the immutable reality of God. There is something holding us back, which has to be loosed so that our sight may break through to the light. In connection with this the Lord said, ‘Give alms, and behold, all things are clean to you.’ Therefore, the next and sixth step is that cleansing of the heart.” (excerpt from Letter 171A.2)