Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Loving our enemies...Isn't there an easier way?

"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."

-Matthew 5:43-48

Anyone else have problems adhering to this?

I try to be a good man, a good husband and a good father. I try to make that daily decision to love my neighbor. But what Jesus asks here seems like lunacy to me sometimes. Love my enemy??? Jesus, are you kidding me? I have a hard enough time trying to do right by my wife, kids and cats. I have to include the guy who lives behind me with seven dogs and the broken fence? The lady who almost rams into me with her car because she's too busy putting her face on to steer the wheel? That guy in high school who beat me up to make me look bad into front of a girl? Him, too??

Him, too, Jesus says.

All about the journey I suppose. I know Jesus didn't mean be all fluffy-huggy-lovey-dovey with my enemies ('cause I AIN'T doing that, at least no today!). No, Jesus exhorts me to pray for them, to hope for their welfare and for their good. Jesus challenges me with this idea today, as I don't know that I can pray for people I consider "enemies". I have worse examples than my backyards neighbor and the other 2. I'm just not ready to bring that up in a blog today, however.

Perhaps, Jesus, I will pray for the openness, the willingness to love and pray for these enemies. That's as far as I can go right now, and I know You don't ask me to go further than I can. I need Your help, because it certainly doesn't feel like I have the capacity for such Love.

At least not today.

Peace & All Good,

Daily Mass Readings
2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Psalm 146:2, 5-6ab, 6c- 7, 8-9a
Matthew 5:43-48

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