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JESUS TEACHES US TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES

19 Jun

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:43-48 – ELEVENTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Forgiveness is difficult in any culture and for any person. Its real challenge is not moral but psychological. Essentially, it is a decision not to let the wrong done to us obstruct our future dealings with an individual. Very often, it takes a while for our emotions to catch up with the decision we have made. Forgiveness is a process. The alternative is to wallow in resentment which, once out of control, can color the rest of our lives. It is much the same when Jesus tells us to love our enemies.

We should recall that the Sermon on the Mount was delivered to those who wanted to live under the reign of God. The Lord is explaining how that service of God shows itself in concrete ways.

Love is also a decision. It is not the romantic attachment frequently portrayed in song and picture. It is an intelligent decision behind which our emotions may lag. To love an enemy is an assertive decision not to let another’s hostility control my reaction. Love admits of degrees. To love our enemies is to decide to assist that individual in various ways to come closer to the light.

To forgive is not to forget. It places any relationship on a new and more realistic plane.

Jakarta, 19 June 2018

A Christiann Pilgrim

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