Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

June 14, 2011
by

Stephen Hart

Senior, Communications Major,
Business Administration Minor

2 Cor 8:1-9
Ps 146:2, 5-6ab, 6c-7, 8-9a
Mt 5:38-42

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father…” - Matthew 5:44-45

Today’s Gospel is probably one of the toughest to live out. When I was younger, I understood Jesus’ command to love my enemies as a strange one, but I went along with it because it didn’t seem that hard. Although I knew people that I didn’t particularly like, I was pretty generous in wishing everyone well, being kind, etc. As I’ve gotten older, however, I have found this Gospel harder to live by. With age has come experience and perspective, much of which is good but much of which is also bad. When another has offended me or a loved one, or even when I reflect on the evil that some people do to others whom I might not know, I find that it is increasingly difficult to love that person because of what they have done.

And yet, love is not something given to someone because of anything they have done or not done but because of who s/he is: a child of God. Jesus tells us that God loves all his children, the good and the bad, by giving them both the rain and the sunshine, and, as St. Paul says in today’s first reading, Jesus showed us this love by becoming poor for us so that we could become rich. His message shows us that love for all is essential to being God’s children and that he does not expect any less from us than to show that love to others.

Of course, this is challenging because it seems to go against our natural desire. This is the genius of Jesus’ call, though: we are called to move beyond ourselves to become like him. I don’t wish here to offer recommendations on how to implement this practically: our different experiences, dispositions, and outlooks are so varied that we probably already know areas in our life that we need to work on in order to be more loving, and each of us probably knows best the people and counsel that can help us achieve this goal. In any case, the theme among them is the call to be children of our Heavenly Father through loving all, even our enemies, just as he did. Let’s pray today that the Lord may help us identify who or what in our lives are our enemies so that we may be more demonstrative in our love toward them.

 

Editor's Note: Stephen graduated in May, so this will be his last reflection with us. Please keep him in your prayers as he begins his studies as a seminarian for the Diocese of Little Rock at Saint Meinrad School of Theology in the fall.


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