Love your enemies
Fr Paul reads from Matthew’s Gospel (5:43-48), which presents the last of six contrasts delivered by Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount. This one is about loving your enemies.
Jesus reflects early in this Gospel that we’ve learned to love but that we’ve also learned to hate. He challenges us in this Gospel to love ALL people because that is what overcomes hate. We need to love all people not just our own – hence the reference to God’s sun shining on the good and the bad, and God’s rain falling on the honest and dishonest.
Jesus is teaching that, as hard as it may be, our love must be for all people. Jesus practiced what he preached – think of him on the cross when he says, ‘Father forgive them they know not what they do’.
It is worth reflecting that if the early church had loved no more than its own little group, would we have even heard of Christianity. Would we have even heard of Jesus Christ?
Again, Jesus is challenging us to love – if we love all those we meet then we are practising what Jesus taught us.
In our prayer time today, Fr Paul invites us to personal reflection with the question ‘How well do I love others in my life at the moment?