on speaking terms with your enemies
"Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge." —Psalm 19:3
To the man who would later be called "doubting Thomas," Jesus gave one of the greatest revelations in the history of the human race. Jesus told Thomas: "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Me" (Jn 14:6).
Jesus was profoundly disappointed in Philip, who did not know Jesus or His Father after "all this time" (Jn 14:9). Nonetheless, Jesus gave to Philip this awesome revelation: "I solemnly say to you, whoever believes in Me will do the works that I do, and greater than these" (Jn 14:12, our transl).
Because Jesus is forgiving and merciful, He sometimes gives the greatest revelations to people who are weak and sinful. When people disappoint us, we naturally are reluctant to open up to them. But Jesus stretches out His arms to people who may even nail His arms to a cross rather than embrace Him. Jesus may reveal Himself to us even when we are at our worst.
Let us follow in Jesus' footsteps by:
- forgiving and loving our enemies,
- reaching out to them, and
- giving them mercy, that is, treating them better than they deserve.
We will suffer when we love as Jesus loves. Nevertheless, the purpose of life in Christ is not to minimize suffering but to maximize love. Follow the crucified Christ in thought, deed, and word.
Prayer: Father, make me not defensive, but merciful.
Promise: "Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and in which you stand firm. You are being saved by it at this very moment if you hold fast to it as I preached it to you." —1 Cor 15:1-2
Praise: St. Philip is said to have been crucified and St. James stoned to death for speaking the Good News to their enemies.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, October 17, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 21, 2002