(Mt 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 and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Loving The Unlovable
We wrap up the first week of our Lenten meditation on becoming holy following the example of Jesus and his Cross with the distinctive character of Christian love: loving even the unlovable, our “enemies” and those who do not loves us in return.
Indeed, that which distinguishes the Christian love from human love is that the former is a love that puts no limits and is so inclusive. The latter, on the other hand puts boundaries to the extent of its love. Human love finds its expression in the saying, “If you are good to me, I will be good to you.” Implied is that I can be your friend, but I can be your worst enemy if you hurt me!
There is a “Leveling up” in the Law of Love. The “agape” love that Jesus invites his disciples to is a love that Jesus will show to them and to the world. From the Cross, Jesus would pray to all, including those who would crucify him, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
As we end the first week, consider: who has hurt you the most this year ? Who among your loved ones has hurt you the most ? (Because, all too often, those who hurt us the most are those closest!) Are you ready to stretch out your hands to forgive and love again ?