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rain love on your enemies
"My command to you is: love your enemies." —Matthew 5:44
Jesus commands us to love our enemies. This proves we are God's children (Mt 5:45), because only those who have a share in God's nature (2 Pt 1:4) have the power to love their enemies.
When we realize we can't love our enemies by our own power, we often change Jesus' command from "love your enemies" to "don't hate your enemies." This is a big change. The Lord commands us to do much more than not insult or hurt our enemies. The Lord wants us to actively love them. For example, God the Father doesn't just refrain from sending tornadoes, lightning bolts, and floods against His enemies. He gives them beautiful sunny days and life-giving rains (Mt 5:45). We too should actively bless our enemies with beautiful days. Like the father of the prodigal son, we should show affection to our enemies (Lk 15:20). We should honor them with gifts and a special celebration (Lk 15:22-23). We should be sunshine for them and rain down presents on them.
Since we don't have the power even to not hate our enemies, loving them as God does is obviously impossible. God, however, lives in us and has adopted us as His children. Therefore, by His grace we can give love to our enemies.
Prayer: Father, this Lent may I shock myself and others as I love my enemies.
Promise: "You are to be a people peculiarly His own, as He promised you; and provided you keep all His commandments, He will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory above all other nations He has made, and you will be a people sacred to the Lord, your God, as He promised." —Dt 26:18-19
Praise: Louise prayed to love her enemy — her husband.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Love on audio AV 58-1 or video V-58.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013
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