This Sunday’s Gospel from Matthew has Jesus Christ telling you and me to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.
This exhortation from Jesus is one of His signature prescriptions for us to be His disciples.
It is difficult. When you and I have been hurt or victimized, it is hard to pray for the person who has persecuted us, let alone forgive the perpetrator of pain and hurt.
But as Christians, this is what we are called to do. It is what makes us different – to be loving as God is loving to us.
Please keep in mind that loving our enemies and praying for those who hurt us does not mean those who do harm should not be held accountable for their actions. Justice is also a value that Jesus Christ preached and wants us to work toward justice in our world.
But you and I are being told by Jesus Christ to let go of the hate and our desire or demand for retribution.
By trying to love our enemies we will break the cycle of payback and hate since that is not how God intended for humanity to live.
God wants humanity to try to be better by being forgiving and loving as Jesus Christ showed us.
Again, this is not easy – but it isn’t impossible, either.
By using the blessings and gifts of our faith and our faith community, you and I can try to be as holy and “perfect” as we were created to be.
Perhaps this is something you and I can focus on during this upcoming Lenten season.
What do I need to do to love more like Jesus Christ? How can I cooperate with God’s Grace to be loving, forgiving, and holy?
May this upcoming Lent, which begins this Wednesday as we are marked with ashes on our foreheads, be a time for you and me to re-orient our lives to be more of who we claim to be as Christians.
As always, if there is anything we can do for you at UB Catholic campus ministry, please let me know. We are here for you.
May God bless you with Peace and All Good.