love your enemies
"My command to you is: love your enemies, pray for your persecutors. This will prove that you are sons of your heavenly Father." —Matthew 5:44-45
Can you kill an enemy, even in self-defense, and still love him? Can you legally execute even a convicted murderer and still love him? Can you pay taxes that fuel the arms buildup and still love your enemies? We may find it difficult to believe that we must love all enemies under any circumstances, but this proves we are sons and daughters of the heavenly Father.
Jesus commands us to love our enemies. He expects it and will provide all the power necessary to do this most impossible of all commands. For if we do not bridge by love the gap between ourselves and our enemies, we will create a chasm of eternal separation between us and God. For many, life and eternity will all come down to whether they accepted God's grace to love their enemies. Isn't that what happened to Jesus when He hung upon the cross, breathed His last, and said: "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34)?
"In a word, you must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48). Accept the grace to love your enemies.
Prayer: Jesus, when You forgave Your enemies, You forgave me. Can I refuse to give the forgiveness given to me?
Promise: "You are to be a people peculiarly His own, as He promised you; and provided you keep all His commandments, He will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations He has made, and you will be a people sacred to the Lord." —Dt 26:18-19
Praise: St. Katharine not only contributed her money to help Jesus' beloved poor, she dedicated her life to serve them and encouraged others to follow.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Love on audio AV 58-1 or video V-58.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 2011
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