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the greatest love
"My command to you is: love your enemies." —Matthew 5:44
Loving our enemies means to treat them as well as or better than we treat our friends (see Mt 5:45; Lk 15:29).
Loving enemies means praying for them (Mt 5:44) to be blessed by the Lord and then answering our own prayer by bountifully giving to them (see 2 Cor 8:4-5; see also Lk 15:22ff).
Loving enemies means showing affection for them in a way they can receive it (Lk 15:20).
Loving enemies means honoring them in exceptional ways (Lk 15:22-24).
Loving enemies is obviously impossible. It is pure grace. It shows we are children of our heavenly Father (Mt 5:45) and perfected as He is perfect (Mt 5:48).
Loving enemies is shocking, prophetic, and evangelistic. When we truly love our enemies, Jesus' death on the cross becomes luminous. When we love our enemies, countless knees bend and tongues proclaim: "Jesus Christ is Lord!" (Phil 2:10-11) By God's grace, love your enemies!
Prayer: Father, I accept Your grace to do the impossible. I love my enemies.
Promise: "You are well acquainted with the favor shown you by our Lord Jesus Christ: how for your sake He made Himself poor though He was rich, so that you might become rich by His poverty." —2 Cor 8:9
Praise: Sam's business didn't have enough money to pay employees for the week. As usual, Sam and his wife started the day with prayer and asked the Lord to provide their needs. As usual, the mail for that day contained a check for enough money to meet payroll.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Forgiveness and Evangelization.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996