React With Love
Turn the other cheek. I know for myself, this challenge that God gives has never been easy. Have you ever had one person who has never treated you right? Maybe they are always trying to do better than you, and brag when success comes their way. Maybe you had a boss who never appreciated your hard work. It's easy for us to pin people as enemies for us, or to become the enemy. The more difficult challenge is what God asks of us, to love our enemy, as God loves us, no matter the situation. It's easy to rant about a person who belittles us, but God calls us to shout in love, to turn the situation around and use it as an opportunity to bring joy into someone's life who may desperately need it. Do you seek opportunities to love your enemy?
Today's Gospel states:'"But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back"' (Luke 6:27-38).
In today's reading, we hear about how we need to love our enemies, to love as God loves. We need to learn not to pass judgment. When these situations come, I like to try and think of Jesus, as he was being led up to the cross. The people were plotting against him, torturing him, being so cruel, and yet, as he faced the cross, he showed nothing but love, especially for the enemy. "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." So often when someone is bitter towards us, they don't have God at the center, and need to be shown the extent of His love. Take some time to pray and ask God to help you love the enemy.
Today we pray:
Thank you for this new day. Help me to face any challenges ahead, any people who may try to plot against me. Let me show them Your love and joy and react always with a kind heart.
I pray in Your most holy name, Amen.