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. Jul 2020 .
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Doctrines & Morals

Love your enemies and pray for them

1 Kgs 21:17-29, Mt. 5:43-48. Today's readings present us with two extremes: "an enemy, who turned himself into an enemy of his lover; and a lover, who loves even his enemies." In the first reading, Ahab through the instrumentality of his wife Jezebel turned himself into an enemy of God who loved him. He snatched away the life of Naboth, whom he was meant to protect and took possession of his vineyard. As if that meant nothing to him, he led Israel into sin, worshiping idols like the Amorites. He extended the same hatred towards the prophet of God, saying to him: "have you found me out, my enemy?" Other kings used to mutually guard and guide the people of God with the Prophets. However, Ahab resorts to the contrary. We are called not to give evil tendencies the least opportunity to occupy our minds, as it took hold of Ahab.

The good news is that we have a lover who readily forgives us. When Ahab became repentant, God immediately had mercy on him saying: "Have you seen that Ahab has humbled himself before me? I will not bring the evil in his time." Our repentance means a lot to God. This is where the sacrament of reconciliation performs wonders in our lives when we empty ourselves of our iniquities, we are set free. This same Lord who forgives us bids in today's Gospel that we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, like our Heavenly Father whose sun rises on the good and the bad. To our human nature this teaching is alien and contrary to the natural human tendency to revenge. However, revenge does not set us free, instead it heightens the weight of our psycho-spiritual burden, but when we forgive, we let go and become lighter in spirit. Love lets us embrace the sacrifice that goes with forgiving. When we forgive, we become the first benefactors, because we become relieved of the burden of unforgiveness.

May the Lord, who is our hope and courage, give us the grace to always forgive without counting costs and make us generous, compassionate and loving! Amen!! Keep safe and Peace be with you!!!

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