Are you kidding me? Love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me? Whatever happened to justice? Or getting what you deserve? Don’t you sometimes feel that others are not worthy of our love or our prayers? Jesus teaches us today that if we desire to follow him we must set aside our natural impulse to seek revenge and to inflict harm on those who hurt us.
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.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Jesus calls us to radical transformation. He doesn’t want us to be a little more loving than we are now, he wants us to utterly and completely surrender to the command to love one another. It is sometimes hard to do, but so very important.
Love is an action that leads to grace.