February 20, 2016
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” Mt_5:43-48
Probably the toughest command Jesus ever made. Yes we can love. We can love our families and friends. We can force ourselves to love those who are different from us. But to love those who hurt us. To love those who purposely attack us – our enemies, that’s tough. Jesus never said we have to love their actions. We can even hate their sin, the evil within them. But if we love them, we pray that they can change. Everyone can change. And loving them doesn’t mean that we allow ourselves to be subjected to their evil. Even Jesus slid away from those who would harm him (until it was His time, when he allowed it). The point was, the less we can allow hatred to control our lives, the happier, the more peaceful our lives will be. And loving one’s enemies is clearly not the starting point, it’s the culmination of years and years of conditioning to love everyone. Keep working on it, beloved. God’s Kingdom will come!
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