Today’s gospel (Matthew 5: 43-48) is one of my favourites. It is about loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us.
If you love those who love you, what right have you to claim any credit? Even the tax collectors do as much, do they not?
I remember how i felt when i first read this. I was ashamed of my little love and self-righteousness.
From then onwards, I realized what You want from me and what You have made me capable of.
Yes, You have made me in Your image.
You are love and so I am.
You love everyone, including those who persecute You, and so i have been made capable of doing the same.
You are perfect, and so i must, in order to be worthy of that image.
It is easy to hate if we view another person as so-and-so. But, when we view that person as a child of our beloved Father and that child, being blinded by the poison of the serpent, is walking towards the brink of the precipice, it renders us incapable of hating but only worry and sorrow. That child who bears the same image as my beloved Father is going to perish. So, I will stretch out my arms to reach him/her. If my arms are not able to reach him/her, my prayers will.
I was meditating upon the 4th mystery of the sorrowful mysteries this afternoon: the carrying of the cross. Jesus was carrying the burden of our sins on his shoulder. He loved us so much that he was even willing to carry this burden for us, this burden of our sins, not his. If the Lord our God who is sinless has carried the burden of our sins on His shoulder, shouldn’t we do the same for our siblings? By carrying the load of their sins in our hearts, it means to always forgive when somebody hurts us and pray for their conversion.
Bishop Robert Baron shared about this unconditional love of God in his video which i love a lot. [23m:40s onwards]
Love is not a sentiment or feeling. Love is actively willing the good of the other as other. And this is why enemy love is the surest test of love. If I am good to someone who is sure to repay me, then i might simply be engaging in an act of disguised or indirect self-interest. But if i am generous to someone who is my enemy, who is not the least bit interested in responding to me in kind, then i can be sure that i have truly willed his good and not my own. Jesus wants his followers to aspire to the way that God loves. God loves those who love Him and those who hate Him. He loves His friends and His enemies. He gave good things to those who deserve them and those who don’t deserve them.