The WORD in Other Words by Fr Carlos Lariosa SVD (Philippines) for Saturday 1st Week of Lent
In a cartoon, Charlie Brown proclaimed to his constant tormentor Lucy, “I was at peace until I woke up!” When one is arguing with an enemy while awake, it is almost sure that he will not have peace of mind when going to sleep. Loving one’s friends and hating one’s enemies is also the law of the jungle.
Perhaps our first reaction to this radical call of Christ to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us, is, “NO WAY!” Who are my enemies? They are those who do not like us; they look down and reject us; they insult and persecute us. Our normal response to them is to fight back, or literally just avoid them.
Now Christ himself leads us in praying for them, and admonishes us to love them as we love ourselves. Our motivation for doing so is strengthened by the promise of Jesus that it is in this way that we become children of the Heavenly Father. This is a way to becoming perfect, living close to the ideal of perfection of the Heavenly Father.
If we are honest and sincere, we will see that our number one enemy is ourselves. Then our solution to this confusion can be found, first of all, in ourselves. When we finally learn to situate ourselves before God, we start to take ourselves humbly as nobody before God, nevertheless, loved so much by God. So there must be something very good and valuable in me.
Our pride and our selfishness would start to disappear while accepting and appreciating more and more God’s love for us. Perhaps we will reach the point of what St. Paul called,” Christ living in me.” Then would there be more need of looking for perfection?
Source – The WORD in Other Words, Bible Diary 2020