Today’s Thoughts: "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you..." Probably some of the hardest words of the Gospel to put into practice. Perhaps on an intellectual level some of us might understand them. Maybe when we hear them proclaimed at mass we might give them some thought. However, when it comes to living, the vast majority of the time, these words do not find their way into how we look at life.
Enemies are not people to invest love in. People who persecute us do not find their way into our prayers. Most of the time these days we trash them on Facebook or Twitter, we gossip about them and find any way we can to discredit them, to demonize them. The twenty-four-hour news stations like FOX, MSNBC and the like will give you all the ammunition that you need! Living Jesus' words is leaving one's self open to all kinds of bad things. It reflects weakness in a world built on strength, power and being number one. We can point to many examples were others tried to be nice, tried to follow Jesus' advice and were persecuted, hurt, overrun, sent into slavery, exiled, lost all they had and end up worse than they started off. We can point to wars and conflicts that escalated into world problems because people didn't act with strength, force and might.
Living by Jesus' words seems to make us vulnerable and weak in the eyes of the people around us and the eyes of the world and to be honest with you I cannot dispute it. However, if we read a little further in the Gospel we might say in some ways Jesus is not talking about world problems and issues between nations or complex situations. Jesus is talking about our daily lives, greeting people, caring about people around us, treating people with honor and respect as we encounter them in the living of life.
Perhaps the point that Jesus is getting at is if we do the little things well, if we respect, honor and care about people in our one on one encounters. If we see a person who has hurt us or who does not value our point of view, our beliefs with love and respect and hold them in prayer, then perhaps our world problems would not be such a challenge. In other words, if we live the words of Jesus in our everyday lives then our world might have the chance of being a better place. If we do the little things with faith the big things might be easier to overcome!
Have a blessed Saturday everyone.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...