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All Issues > Volume 20, Issue 4

<< Tuesday, June 15, 2004 >>
1 Kings 21:17-29
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Psalm 51 Matthew 5:43-48
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"You have heard the commandment, 'You shall love your countryman but hate your enemy.' My command to you is: love your enemies, pray for your persecutors. This will prove that you are sons of your heavenly Father." —Matthew 5:43-45

Jesus repeatedly commands us to love our enemies. This is the essence of Jesus' teaching — not only because it is part of the Sermon on the Mount but also because it is what Jesus did when He died for us on the cross.

Nonetheless, many people, including Christians, have ignored Jesus' repeated commands to love their enemies. They dismiss the commands of the all-holy Son of God, Wisdom Himself (1 Cor 1:30), as being impractical. They assume that the all-knowing God doesn't know the situation with their enemies. However, we should assume that the Lord's knowledge is way beyond ours (Is 55:8-9) and that we should by faith love our enemies, even if we don't understand Jesus' commands. We should dismiss our insane idea that we are more practical than God and face the fact that we have little to show for our supposed practicality. "For God's folly is wiser than men, and His weakness more powerful than men" (1 Cor 1:25).

If we are not obeying commands which are "over our heads," aren't we "doing our own thing" under the guise of Christianity, rather than obeying God? If we dismiss Jesus' command to love our enemies, aren't we making up our own religion? If we don't try to accept God's grace to obey every word which comes forth from His mouth (Mt 4:4), where is the integrity of our faith and how can we expect to be taken seriously?

Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to show me more of what's at stake in obeying or disobeying Jesus' command to love enemies.
Promise: "He fasted, slept in the sackcloth, and went about subdued." —1 Kgs 21:27
Praise: Instead of bad-mouthing a wayward public official, Maria made up her mind to fast and pray for him.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 20, Issue 4
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