February 20, 2011: 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus taught the people, saying:
“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…” (Matthew 5:33-34)
Jesus’ teachings are difficult indeed.
Loving those who would hurt us is very challenging. Loving a bully, for example, seems absurd. Yet Jesus commands us, he doesn’t invite us, to love people who hurt us in any way, those we might consider our enemies. Of course, he has plenty to say as well to those who harm others. But in today’s gospel Jesus is inviting us to imagine how loving and forgiving God is and to do all we can to imitate him, God’s son.
The Christian life is not an easy life.
Jesus is constantly surprising us by asking us to do things that seem ridiculous, humanly speaking.
Throughout this week pray for someone who has hurt you. Ask God to bless the person and change his or her heart.
Or, ask God to forgive you and change your heart if you have hurt another person. Pray for that person. If you are able, ask the person for his or her forgiveness.