Jesus continues to reveal the New Covenant in the Sermon on the Mount with the stunning command for His followers to love everyone, including enemies. He begins by summarizing a common understanding of the Old Covenant (Lev 19:18; Deut 20) as, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” Many Jews restricted the definition of “neighbor” to Jews only, hating or shunning the occupying Romans and other Gentiles.
Christ makes a shocking commandment that men must love and pray for enemies who persecute them if they are to be children of God. He puts men in their place, calling them “children” while reminding them of their own dependence on the Heavenly Father (for rain and sun) and that it is God’s mysterious will to allow the evil to exist.
Jesus denounces men’s lukewarm attempts to love, comparing them unfavorably to tax collectors and pagans, revealing men gain no merit without loving enemies. So there is no confusion about the the extraordinary love He commands His followers to live out, Christ insists they must be “perfect” using God’s perfect love as the standard.
Awed by Jesus Christ – As the Almighty King of all Creation, Jesus commands that those who wish to be children of God must love their enemies with perfection. The omnipotent Divine Teacher, Christ confirms the Heavenly Father’s willingness to allow both good and bad men to survive and confirms man’s absolute dependence on God.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Rather than the Son of God who demands perfection and holds men accountable, Jesus is often falsely portrayed as kind of a permissive mother who makes no demands and whose mercy tolerates any and every unrepentant sin. Reflect on Christ’s stunning command to love enemies that is a requirement for those who are children of the Father.
2) Modern society is falling into sinful perversion and increasingly attacking Christ’s Church; Christ specifically calls Catholic men to love enemies. Identify several groups or individuals you don’t love and pray for Christ to help you to forgive and fully love them.
3) There is a Catholic “man-crisis” with huge numbers rejecting the Church and the majority failing to keep even the basic Precepts of the Church. Reflect on Christ’s non-negotiable call to perfection and vow to make the pursuit of perfection in Christ the purpose of your remaining days. Pray for Christ to help you.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels
Virtue of the Day – Justice