Gospel: Mt 5:43-48
You have heard, that it was said: Love your neighbor and do not do good to your enemy. But this I tell you: love your enemies; and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. For he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good; and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust. If you love those who love you, what is special about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much? And if you are friendly only to your friends, what is so exceptional about that? Do not even the pagans do as much? As for you, be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
PRAY FOR THOSE WHO
Sometimes, we feel that Jesus is asking impossible things from us — like this one. How can we love someone who just humiliated us, spread all sorts of false stories about us, destroyed our good name? How can we love people who hate us or show how much they despise or look down upon us. And worse still, how can we pray for those who are persecuting us, have us falsely accused, arrested and detained? And yet yes, that is what we are enjoined to do because it is but natural to love people who love us, to appreciate those who do good to us, show us appreciation or even admiration. But to be a follower of Christ demands more. We have to do what does not come naturally to us. And by ourselves, we cannot do this. We have to ask God’s grace to look at the good side of people, to forgive their actions against us. Maybe what can help is to remind ourselves that God sees something good in them and so we ask God to let us see this good that is in them. And as we know with God nothing is impossible – even loving those who hate us and praying for those who persecute us.
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