Love Your Enemies

Face it. We don’t like everyone we meet and many people don’t like us. It’s the way of the world. But, as Christians, we are called to a higher code of conduct. While we have hurt or broken relationships, even people have to “love” from a distance, how we treat them speaks volumes about our faith and our character. The trick for these distant people is to keep the door of reconciliation open. Maybe, someday, there will be forgiveness and healing. If we cannot give these people friendship, at least we can pray for them. If we must keep our distance for our own mental health, at least we can hope for a change of heart.

In our Gospel, Jesus speaks of Christian justice, not the justice of retribution, but the justice of the Kingdom. Not an “eye for an eye” but a way to show others the path to God. He shows us the way to love.

Be perfect as your Father is heaven is perfect. This verse is the capstone for Jesus’ teaching on the Law. He has taught us and shown us who God really is. To be perfect is to bring to completion. We are to teach and treat others the way Jesus does. We are to care for others the way God cares for us (both the good and the evil, the righteous and the unjust) all the time (for the sun shines and the rain pours on both), even to the point of loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us. This is a tall order, but at least we can try. For, as Christians, we are Christ for others. We teach others the way to live by our words and actions; in doing so, we reveal God. In other words, being “perfect” really means we are steady on the journey toward the fullness of Life.

 Adapted from Renew International:Prayer Time Cycle A