"My God, in You I take refuge." —Psalm 7:2
When Jeremiah realized people were plotting to kill him, he "prayed" to the Lord: "Let me witness the vengeance You take on them" (Jer 12:20). When Jesus was plotted against by His enemies and crucified, He also prayed while hanging on the cross: "Father forgive them; they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34).
Unlike Jeremiah, Jesus did not seek His enemies' death but their salvation. He loved His enemies so much that He died in their place and gave them the opportunity for eternal life with Him. No one loves enemies except Jesus and His disciples. When we love our enemies, we prove we're Jesus' disciples and children of the heavenly Father (Mt 5:45). Jesus loves enemies by running out to meet them, throwing His arms around them and kissing them, giving them presents, and throwing a party in their honor (see Lk 15:20ff).
Jesus treats His enemies better than His friends. To the world this is absurd and impossible. Even if we wanted to do it, we couldn't. However, the Lord will do the impossible. He will do for us and in us one of His greatest miracles — the miracle of love for our enemies. Instead of praying for our enemies' death or for a way to avoid being around them, we should pray for an unconditional, merciful, forgiving, miraculous love for them.
Prayer: Father, beginning this Lent may I love the person who has hurt me the most.
Promise: "No man ever spoke like that before." —Jn 7:46
Praise: After attending a healing service, Ann was counseled to frequently recite the Prayer to St. Michael, which she did with fruitful results.
Reference: (Presentation Ministries offers retreats year-round. We depend on an all volunteer staff and teachers. Is the Lord calling you to serve Him through PM? What you give will be given back a hundredfold when you work for the Lord. See our website or call 937-587-5464 for more information on how you can help with your time, talent and treasures. God bless you for your prayers.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 26, 2009
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