What has Jesus taught his disciples about love?
In the Gospel according to Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus
“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”.
Is there a new way to love our enemies?
Pray for your enemies
for your enemy opens you up to the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart.
Forgive your enemies
Loving your enemy does not
- You have to add them to your Christmas list, or
- make them your best friend, or
- excuse their actions
it means you forgive them, with the knowledge that God is both merciful and just.
How would you feel?
your enemies and praying for those who persecute you is liberating. You can find yourself in pitched battles with the people who hate you, always seeking the upper hand, always noting who’s up and who’s down, and always analyzing every slight. Praying for them can make you feel even better and change your attitude towards them.
So what Jesus is telling us is hard, but it’s not impossible. And it’s necessary, too, because ultimately he is inviting us not only to forgiveness and charity but to something else: freedom and happiness