"Jesus said at the sermon on the Mount; "I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be the children of your heavenly Father."
Matthew 5 : 44
Those who were privileged to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his sermon on the Mount were probably shocked by his words about loving your enemies. This idea of forgiveness was totally new even to the Apostles. They were brought up on the old law of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” This was the law, they and their ancestors had lived by and practised for thousands of years.
Christ was revolutionary in the good sense. His was a spiritual revolution. He turned the world and it’s values upside down. It was not a political revolution seeking to overthrow governments as some hoped for. No, Christ came for the poor and the needy. The law was there to serve people and not the other way round.
What lessons do we learn here? We too need a deep spiritual conversion. We have a helper, the Holy Spirit, who is always there for us if we call upon him. Like the sun and the rain, he provides for the rich and the poor alike. All are God’s children and all in need of spiritual help.
Through prayer we keep in touch with the Holy Spirit. This enables us to reach out to friends and enemies alike. Only prayer can help us to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors: Let us make a start this Lent.
Lord Jesus, your enemies persecuted you even unto death. Your gentle love revealed itself in your prayer for them. May we also join our prayer with yours. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Amen