Is this really possible?
From today’s Scripture: “If you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?” (Mt 5:46)
The Gospel for this Saturday may be the most challenging Gospel in Scripture. Jesus proclaims, “Love your enemy, and pray for those who persecute you.” These words, then and now, make many ask, Is this possible? By the grace of God it is.
Many saints prayed and forgave those who caused them great harm. St. Maria Goretti was only 11 years old when she forgave the man who stabbed her 14 times, shortly before she died. How did she do it? She did it because she loved our Lord and his words. The young man who killed her was changed by her forgiveness. He repented in jail and later became a lay brother in a monastery. Forgiveness gives life to a battered world.
Who is it that you can not forgive? What pain do you carry that keeps you from living to be the best you can? Forgiveness gives us freedom, an experience of Jesus’ love. On the cross Jesus said, “Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” Can we forgive?
Let us pray: Lord, you are the greatest example of forgiveness. You forgave those who persecuted you by their words and actions. I need your grace to live your example. You forgive me over and over. I pray for the ability to do the same with my enemies.
Today’s author is Glenmary Father Vic Subb, pastor of Holy Family and Divine Savior missions in Macon and Clay counties, in Tennessee.
Crucifix photo courtesy Martin Jernberg