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February 27, 2021

Mt 5: 43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

God’s mercy confounds us

Jesus tells us today that the rain falls upon the just and unjust in equal measure. This is an even harder saying that “love your enemies,” for it suggests that God already loves your enemies. The great challenge Jesus puts to us is this: look upon those who seem to neglect and despise everything that you hold dear, and then think, “God gazes upon them with the same tenderness at which he gazes upon me.” God doesn’t simply suffer them; he loves them, with a love that confounds our sense of justice. In his novel Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis tells the story of an ancient queen who has suffered much. She wants to accuse the gods of great injustice. In a dream just before her death, she converses with the tutor who raised her and became a father figure. “Are not the gods just?” she demands. “Oh no, child,” he responds. “What would become of us if they were?”

—Paul Lynch teaches rhetoric at Saint Louis University, where he also directs the Prison Education Program.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, you challenge me to love my enemies. I cannot love like this without your help. Unite me to your heart. Forgive me for labeling others an “enemy” simply out of disagreement or injured feelings. Expand my capacity for love and forgiveness. Grant me your compassion. Amen

—The Jesuit Prayer team


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February 27, 2021

Mt 5: 43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 

For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

God’s mercy confounds us

Jesus tells us today that the rain falls upon the just and unjust in equal measure. This is an even harder saying that “love your enemies,” for it suggests that God already loves your enemies. The great challenge Jesus puts to us is this: look upon those who seem to neglect and despise everything that you hold dear, and then think, “God gazes upon them with the same tenderness at which he gazes upon me.” God doesn’t simply suffer them; he loves them, with a love that confounds our sense of justice. In his novel Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis tells the story of an ancient queen who has suffered much. She wants to accuse the gods of great injustice. In a dream just before her death, she converses with the tutor who raised her and became a father figure. “Are not the gods just?” she demands. “Oh no, child,” he responds. “What would become of us if they were?”

—Paul Lynch teaches rhetoric at Saint Louis University, where he also directs the Prison Education Program.

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, you challenge me to love my enemies. I cannot love like this without your help. Unite me to your heart. Forgive me for labeling others an “enemy” simply out of disagreement or injured feelings. Expand my capacity for love and forgiveness. Grant me your compassion. Amen

—The Jesuit Prayer team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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