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“do good to those who hate you” (lk 6:27)
“For if a man meets his enemy, does he send him away unharmed?” —1 Samuel 24:20
Jesus and David were both in a position to overcome their bitter enemies, but spared them. David was a seasoned warrior, a man of blood-stained hands (1 Chr 22:8), who had often killed. When he found Saul in a defenseless position (1 Sm 24:4ff), David could have easily killed him. However, David spared Saul, though he knew Saul would continue to seek his life.
A large crowd of armed soldiers came to the Garden of Gethsemani to arrest Jesus. When Jesus confronted them and stated His name, “I AM,” the soldiers all fell to the ground, seemingly paralyzed at the revelation of Jesus’ divine power (see Jn 18:6). Jesus was presented with an opportunity to escape His enemies, and did not. He could have called down twelve legions of angels to rout the soldiers, but did not (Mt 26:53). Instead, Jesus took the initiative to question the soldiers, in essence rousing them to resume their task of arresting Him (Jn 18:7).
Jesus lived what He preached. “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you and pray for those who maltreat you” (Lk 6:27-28). Who are the people in your life who seek to harm you? Can you imitate Jesus and love your enemies?
Prayer: Father, pour out Your Spirit on me. Help me to imitate Jesus every moment of my life.
Promise: “Your kindness towers to the heavens, and Your faithfulness to the skies.” —Ps 57:11
Praise: St. Agnes, virgin and martyr, has been venerated by the Church since the Fourth Century. A basilica constructed over her tomb was rebuilt by Pope Honorius around 630 AD.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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