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Word of Life. September 2008. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Lc 6, 27-28).

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Word of life

Word

of

Life

September 2008


“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”(Lc 6, 27-28)


“Love your enemies.” those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”These are very strong words. They completely upset our way of thinking and compel us to make a sharp u-turn in our lives!



My enemy might be a next door neighbor or that unpleasant, meddlesome lady whom I meet in the elevator and always try to avoid.


Your enemy could be that relative who mistreated your father thirty years ago and with whom you haven’t spoken since.


He could be that classmate whom you have refused to look at ever since he got you into trouble with the teacher.



Or he could be the salesman who cheated you. Quite often we look at politicians as enemies if their opinions are different from ours. …


And as always there are people who hate the church and therefore regard the clergy as their enemies

And, as always, there are people who hate the Church and, therefore, regard the clergy as their enemies.

Il cardinale Van Thuan



This is what Jesus says:

Loved? Yes. They must be loved!

However, this is not merely a matter of changing hatred into some benign kind of feeling.

We have to do much more than that.


“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”


As we can see, Jesus wants us to overcome evil with good. He wants us to show our love concretely. We might wonder why Jesus is asking this of us.


The fact is he wants us to pattern our lives after the life of God, his Father, who “makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”


This is the point we are not alone in the world we have a father and we must become similar to him

This is the point: we are not alone in the world. We have a Father, and we must become similar to him.


Furthermore he has the right to demand this of us because when we were still his enemies

when we were still living in darkness, he loved us first by sending us his Son who died in such a terrible way for each one of us.

Furthermore, he has the right to demand this of us because when we were still his enemies,


“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you….” sending us his Son who died in such a terrible way for each one of us.


Jerry, a black boy from Washington, had already learned to live these words. Because of his high I.Q., he was admitted to a special class together with many white children. But intelligence alone was not enough to win him acceptance.


Everyone disliked him because he was black. Then Christmas came. The other children exchanged gifts, leaving Jerry out. Naturally, the young boy cried.


But when he arrived home, he remembered the words of Jesus, “Love your enemies.” So, with his mother’s permission, he bought gifts which he distributed with love to all of his “white brothers and sisters.”


“Love your enemies… pray for those who mistreat you.” “Love your enemies.” So, with his mother’s permission, he bought gifts which he distributed with love to all of his “white brothers and sisters.”


Elizabeth, a girl from Florence, was climbing the steps of a church to go to Mass when, all of a sudden, a group of youngsters her own age outside started to make fun of her! It really hurt her. She would have liked to scream at them, but she smiled instead. In church Elizabeth prayed for them.


As she was leaving, they approached her and asked why she had behaved that way. She explained that she was a Christian and that, therefore, she had to love in every situation. She said these words with great conviction. The following Sunday she discovered that her witness had borne fruit. When she entered the church, she saw those same girls sitting attentively in the first pew.


These are examples of how children take God’s word seriously. For this reason they are “grown-ups” in his eyes.


Perhaps we too ought to take steps to remedy certain situations in our own lives, all the more so since we will be judged by the way we judge others. We ourselves are the ones who give God the measure by which he will measure us. In fact, we often pray, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Therefore, let us love our enemies! Only by doing this can we heal disunity, break down barriers and build the Christian community.


Is it difficult? Painful? Does the mere thought of it keep us awake at night? Take courage. It is not the end of the world after all. It takes just a little effort on our part, and then God will do the remaining ninety-nine percent, and we will experience boundless joy in our hearts!


“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”


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