Praying for Enemies

Friends in Christ, in the gospel today we see one way in which the Catholic Faith is totally different from others. Christ tells us to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us. This is very different from other, non-Christian religions.
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This is very different from other, non-Christian religions.
I knew a young woman who had grown up Hindu. In India, she sometimes went to Church with her Catholic friend. She was stunned when she heard that we are to pray for our enemies. She said, ‘In Hinduism we have a god that we pray to to hurt our enemies.’ It was this teaching that really drew her to the Faith.
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And Our Lord is not speaking so much about the Hitler’s and ISSIS’s and other enemies, as much as he means the person in our own household or at our own workplace who makes our life difficult.
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So Our Lord asks us to have this kind of Christian love. This being said, we must now ask WHY he said this. The reason is simple: it is such love that makes a person like God. Christ says that Our Father in heaven makes the sun rise on the bad and the good and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
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God is constantly blessing all of his children, good and bad. He is sending constant blessings upon this earth to us and our enemies. William Barclay says, ‘for what purpose were we made in the first place?’ In Genesis, God says, ‘let us make man in our image and likeness.’ Man is created to be like God. We are to be sharing in God’s life, and conforming ourselves more and more to be in his image and likeness.
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So, one characteristic of God, is this universal concern and goodness to all, this unconquerable goodwill, the desire for the good of each person; and never giving up on anyone. No matter how people have wounded God and insulted him, God continues to desire the good of each person.
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Well, we become like God when we too love the good people as well as our enemies; when we desire good for everyone. And this is why Jesus concludes his words by saying, ‘Be therefore perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

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