Daily Reflection
March 15th, 2003
by
Tom Schloemer, S.J.
Career and Academic Planning
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Deuteronomy 26:16-19
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
Matthew 5:43-48

The Christian message is, in contemporary terms, counter-cultural.  Jesusí command, namely - love your enemies, pray for your persecutors - flies in the face of the ethnocentrism of his day.  The phrase, but hate your enemy, is non-biblical.  Hurtful actions may be hated but not persons.  Correction and change of persons may be beyond our striving, and so we pray for our persecutors.

Malevolence may appear daunting and overpowering, but the conviction that love is stronger than hate is crucial.  The lives of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Romero, Tutu have exemplified the triumph of love over hate.

It has been stated that loving those who are for us results in an increase in their love, while loving those who are against us results in an increase in Godís love.  That is the challenge of the Christian message.  Jesus always provides the model.  He does so in his redemptive words:  Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.
 

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