Saturday of the First week of Lent
"But I say to you, love your enemies"
“Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another,” (Rom 13,8). What an unusual debt is this, my brethren, the love the apostle Paul teaches us we should always pay, without ever ceasing to be debtors. O happy debt, holy debt, bearer of our claims over heaven, filled with eternal riches!… Let us remember, too, some of the Lord’s words: “Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you; pray for those who mistreat you and curse you” (cf. Lk 6,27f.). And what reward will there be for this endeavour?… “Then you will be children of the Most High.”
The apostle Paul gives us to understand what will be bestowed on these children of God: “If we are children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom 8,17). Pay heed then, you Christians; pay heed, children of God; pay heed, heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ! If you want to gain possession of your Father’s inheritance, pay the debt of your love not simply to your friends but even to your enemies. Refuse this love to no one; it is the common fund of all people of good will. Possess it together, then, and in order to increase it pay it out to the wicked as much as to the good. For this property that we can only hold together is not of earth but of heaven; one person’s share never diminishes that of another…
Love is a gift of God: “Love has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us,” (Rom 5,5)… Love is the root of all good just as, according to Saint Paul, avarice is that of all evil (1Tm 6,10)… Love is always happy, because the more it increases its giving, the more generously does God bestow it on us. That is why, while misers make themselves poor with all they hoard, he who pays his debt of love enriches himself from what he gives.
Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe