06/15 Tuesday of Week XI

GOSPEL, Matthew (5: 43-48)

Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Gospel of the Lord



Jesus came to revolutionize history by creating a new relationship with the believer: Man cannot be defined as an enemy or a friend, but rather regarded as a brother. ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thy enemy’ before the neighbour for the Israelite meant in the book of Leviticus (19:18) the relative, fellow citizen and enemy was the heathen and the stranger. Jesus ends the tradition of the rabbis and goes further. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that persecute and slander you”

When Jesus refers to close, He means each person without distinction of race, colour and country. Jesus and his followers are no longer anything but brothers, all children of the same Father, our Lord God. Matthew (5:48), “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Seen in the light of the wisdom of the world, this norm of Jesus may seem like an unrealizable program. While as human beings it is difficult to imitate such perfection in the light of our imperfection, the important thing is not to harbour feelings of hatred in our heart, rancour or aggression and even less the pleasure of revenge.

In our imperfect human condition, to forgive, is perfectly attainable but to love effectively, and affectively only as a true saint. Jesus’s example demonstrates for us a faultless ideal. He died forgiving his enemies. Many Christians throughout history have also followed his example: to treat an enemy with kindness, to pray for him and always respect him as a person, a brother, another one of God’s children.



God, loving Father, make us similar to You so that we may reveal your love to all.

Deliver us, Lord, from self-interested love, so that we are able to give true witness of your Kingdom and a never-ending love. Amen.