But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:44-48)
Today, it seems, many seek to mariginalize those they disagree with by attacking, calling names or denigrating the opposing person’s view. This is not love.
Today’s gospel reminds us that Our Father in Heaven expects us to love those who attack us.
Digging deep within our soul to love those that hate us or treat us hatefully is one of the many steps toward the perfected love referenced in today’s gospel.
Sometimes finding the ability to love in these instances can also be excruciatingly difficult.
To quote St. Augustine – “Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.”
Lent is a time for us to grow in our love for Christ and all of those around us.