"My God, in You I take refuge." —Psalm 7:2
When Jeremiah realized people were plotting to kill him, he "prayed" to the Lord: "Let me witness the vengeance You take on them" (Jer 11:20). When Jesus was plotted against by His enemies and crucified, He also prayed while hanging on the cross: "Father forgive them; they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23:34).
Unlike Jeremiah, Jesus did not seek His enemies' death but their salvation. He loved His enemies so much that He offered Himself in sacrifice and gave them the opportunity for eternal life with Him. When we love our enemies, we prove we are Jesus' disciples and children of the heavenly Father (Mt 5:45). Jesus loves enemies lavishly (see Lk 15:20ff).
To the world this is absurd and impossible. Even if we wanted to love our enemies like Jesus, we couldn't. However, the Lord will do the impossible. He will work in us one of His greatest miracles — the miracle of love for our enemies. Instead of praying like Jeremiah for our enemies' death or for a way to avoid being around them, let us pray for an unconditional, merciful, forgiving, miraculous love for them.
Prayer: Father, beginning this Lent may I love the person who has hurt me the most.
Promise: "No man ever spoke like that before." —Jn 7:46
Praise: Louis prepares for and reflects on the daily Mass readings before and after Mass. He has grown in faith through these meditations.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 28, 2018
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