I give you a new commandment says the Lord:
Love one another as I have loved you. -John 13:3
And in the acclamation to His disciples in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus does not omit any “others.” Indeed, He makes it clear: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
Do we take Jesus seriously in this regard? Do we find ways to follow His command when we encounter those who treat us poorly, to those who do not respect our ideas or our commitments, to those who challenge our pathway through life, or our efforts to undertake societal change for the better? Do they consider themselves our enemies or do we consider them as such?
The challenge is ours: how can we love those who oppose us, betray us, see the world differently, mitigate our efforts to make a contribution to what we conceive as a better world?
This is where we need God’s direction through prayer—placing our needs before the Lord and admitting how difficult it is to follow His command and offering this prayer with a sincere belief that God will provide His help if we place our trust in Him. Let us also remember that God reminds us that He forgives us – our iniquities and our sins.
In today’s Responsorial Psalm we are reminded:
Merciful and gracious is the Lord.
Not according to our sins does He deal with us,
Nor does He requite us according to our crimes.
As we struggle with those who offend us with their transgressions, turning to our God in prayer is our way to find our way to love one another as God has loved us. Let us recall the words of the
“…and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”
Sin exists and we must call upon the Lord to help us to mitigate its impact on us and on our world.
Sr. Kathleen Sullivan, OP