Can one be perfect like the heavenly Father? Is Jesus serious in asking us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us? It is hard enough to love our friends perfectly—even our own parents and family members. How much more those who cause us pain, especially deep pain? Perhaps what Jesus means is that we should do our best in imitating him; that we should aim for the ideal, the greatest good that redounds to God’s highest glory.
Many people have approximated the way Jesus loved his enemies and forgave his persecutors. Even we, at times, are surprised by our ability to rise beyond the “natural” or “human” response of taking revenge at those who hurt us by choosing to forgive or, at least, “to leave it all to God.” In short, we should never use as excuse our “only being human” to act like Jesus, like the Father. We are not just human beings; we are made in God’s image and likeness.
Have you been harboring ill feelings against someone? Are you willing to take Jesus’ challenge and invitation to love your enemies?
Gospel • MATTHEW 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “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, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.