“Love your enemies”

Taken from a meditation by Chiara Lubich which was broadcast on the RAI GR2 radio program “Today is Sunday”, May 1978.

“Love your enemies”. This is a strong statement. Indeed, it turns our way of thinking and acting upside down and makes us change the direction our life is going in. Let’s not hide the fact that we all have enemies of one kind or another, even small ones. …
It might be our next-door neighbour, or the meddlesome, unpleasant lady I try to avoid whenever I meet her on the stairs. My enemy could be a relative who wronged my father thirty years ago, and so I never spoke to him again … It could be the boy sitting at the desk behind you at school and you never looked him in the eye again after he reported you to the teacher.

Perhaps it is the girl you were dating who suddenly dropped you to go out with another guy … The enemy could be the salesperson who tricked you … And then there are the politicians who don’t share our views and so we consider them enemies. Today some people even consider the government itself as their enemy and willingly resort to violence towards those who represent it.

In addition, there are, and have always been, people who see priests as their enemies and hate the Church. However, all these people, and many others whom we might call our enemies, should be loved. Loved!? Yes, loved! And don’t think you can manage that just by changing a hateful feeling for a kindlier one.

But there’s more to it than that! Listen to what Jesus says: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who mistreat you.” (Lk 6:27-28).

Do you see? Jesus wants us to overcome evil with good. He wants love to be expressed in concrete gestures. We might wonder why Jesus gave us such a command. The fact is that he wants to shape our conduct according to that of God, his Father, who “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” Mt 5:45.

This is how things stand. We are not alone in this world. We have a Father and we need to be like him. What is more, God has a right to expect this kind of behaviour from us because he loved us first, while we were his “enemies”. While we were still immersed in wrongdoing, He sent us his Son, who died in that terrible way for each one of us.

Perhaps we too need to sort out some difficult situation, especially since we will be judged according to how we judge others. In fact, we are the ones who will give God the measure with which he will have to measure us.

Don’t we ask God to, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”?(1) So, let’s love our enemies! Only by acting in this way can unity be recomposed, barriers removed, and a community built up. Do you think this is too hard and burdensome? Does the mere thought of it keep us awake at night? Take courage! It’s not the end of the world. All that’s needed is a little effort on our part, then God does the other ninety-nine percent and… our hearts will be flooded with joy.

Chiara Lubich

(1) Mt 6:12.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.