12 January, 2023
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. – Matthew 5:43-44
Abba Father, you are the God of infinite, indefinable, unconditional, absolute and perfect love. Love is God and God is love. In you, there is no separation from love. All your plans, all you have created, your divine providence, your deliverance of man, your sustenance of your created beings, are all manifestations of your love. You have demonstrated your unwavering love for us, by sending your only Son to die for, and save us, out of pure and divine love, which Jesus exhibited for us.
We bless and thank you for this perfect attestation of how much you value your creation. You forged a new covenant of love with us and made it the standard by which a Christian, living in Christ by faith and belief, is identified. Jesus, our Lord, urged us, taught us, revealed to us and exhorted us on how we should love our God, above all things, with all our mind, heart and strength, in pure sanctity and righteousness of spirit. Jesus also commanded that we love not just our neighbors, but also our enemies and persecutors.
This does not mean sanctioning their actions, which cannot and should not be endorsed, but loving their person, with the intention of saving their souls, and treating them as brethren in Christ. By not falling to their standards, and by our kindness in dealing with them, they lose the power of revenge and are shamed to reforming their conduct. Help us Lord, to follow your just command and give bounty, goodness, compassion and love, to bring about chastisement in an embittered world, thus bringing glory to your Holy Name, through Christ our Lord. Amen.