Jesus said to his disciples, «You have heard that it was said: ‘Love your neighbor and do not do good to your enemy’. But this I tell you: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. For he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good, and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust. If you love those who love you, what is special about that? Do not even tax collectors do as much? And if you are friendly only with your friends, what is so exceptional about that? Do not even the pagans do as much? For your part you shall be righteous and perfect in the way your heavenly Father is righteous and perfect».
The gospel exigence sometime overtake us and we are not able to live up to its height. Though loving all without any condition remains a difficult affaire to accomplish, forgiving and praying for our enemies remain far away from our mere thinking and reasoning. Even if, we achieve to this extent, to be perfect just like the heavenly Father………mmm, little too much even to our imagination!
Keeping these ideas set aside, if we learn to look the way God looks at us and if we know exactly what we are and what we are capable, then all that we have said before will fall into pieces, because, we are children of God. If we associate all above said as a possibility to God, then it is possible even for us. We are asked to think and act divinely, in our human way.
Since we are chosen, consecrated and send, by the very day of our baptism, living divinely is not an option proposed, rather the only way we are supposed to live, according our own dignity, in our humanity, as expected by the Lord through our baptism.
If it is not the case for you, then you are not looking at Jesus, as the model of life, you are not keeping his commandment of love as the rule of life, and sadly you are not living your life. Rather, you are living the life proposed by others, imitating some other human being, without knowing yourself, your identity as the child of God and the very finality of union with the Father.
«Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you»
Fr. Joan COSTA i Bou
Today's Gospel exhorts us to the most perfect love. Love is wanting to do good to others, and here lies our personal fulfillment. We do not love for our own sake, but for the sake of doing good to our neighbor, and on doing it to improve as persons. The II Vatican Council said, «human beings cannot reach their prime but by sincerely giving themselves to others». Sainte Therese of the Infant Jesus said, ‘This is making an holocaust of our life’. Love is a human vocation. Our whole behavior, to be truly human, has to be the expression of the reality of our being while fulfilling our vocation for love. As John Paul II has written, «a man, cannot live without love. He becomes incomprehensible. His life does not make sense if love is not revealed to him, if he does not find love, if he does not experience love and makes it his, if he does not intensely participate in it».
Love has its foundation and reaches its highest form in God's love in Christ. We are invited to a dialogue with God. We exist for the love of God, Who created us, and for the love of God which keeps us, «and we can only say we live in full realization of the truth when we freely recognize this love and fully trust our Creator» (II Vatican Council): this is the most important reason of its dignity. In other words, human love must remain under the custody of Divine Love, which is where it comes from, where it finds its reflection and brings it to its fullest. This is why, love, when truly human, loves with God's heart and can even embrace its foe. Otherwise, one does not truly love. To such an extent that the exigency of our giving ourselves sincerely, becomes a divine precept: «For your part you shall be righteous and perfect in the way your heavenly Father is righteous and perfect» (Mt 5:48).