God loves all, and He loves everyone, without exception. Not even the worst sinners can escape from His love. However, all of us, who truly love God in return, and keep His teachings and commandments, enjoy even greater love, and also He has made us His people, His children, and promise us every graces and blessings in our lives.
It is easy to love your friends, those who also love you, and your family, and those whom you know. It is easy to be with them and also live happily with them. But indeed, if we are all indeed called by God to be His missionaries to all the world, can we just stay content in being within our own sphere of safety? within our own comfort zone?
No! Indeed, as the Lord said to us, “Love our enemies” and “Pray for those who persecutes you”, we have to reach out to those who hate us, and especially to those whom because of the hate in our hearts, have hated too. It is natural for us humans to hate, as since the days of the fall of Adam and Eve, sin has entered the hearts of men, and therefore with it, came hatred, prejudice, and jealousy. It is natural for us to hate someone who hated us first, and it is natural for us to covet the possession of others, especially those who are more fortunate than us. However, remember that through our baptism in God, and through the Sacred Scripture that we read and listened to, we have all become the children of God, and have been made better than what our human natures allow us to be.
For as the children of God, we too should follow in God’s footsteps. No better example at this, that Christ, the Son of God, whose in His death throes on the cross, showed how great God’s love is to all peoples. For Christ Himself had said, “There is no greater love, than that of those who gave their life for their friends. To Christ, all of us are His friends, does not matter whether king or poor, big or small, saints or sinners. Even to those whom had handed Him the death penalty by shouting “Crucify Him!”, Christ also consider them as friends, and He gave His life for them. These were His enemies, but out of His great love, He forgave them, and asked the Father not to punish them, because they do not know what they were doing.
This was one example Christ gave why we should love our enemies. Not to die like Him for our enemies, but because, these enemies of ours are after all, also the children of God, whom God loves, despite of their sins, just like God loves us, despite of our sins. Therefore, we should love one another, even our enemies, that they too, may learn love, and in doing so, shed off their hatred and sinful ways, and join us in salvation. There are many who also persecute us, especially the faithful, as we have often heard happening all over the world. But how do we face this? Do we face them with hatred and more violence, or do we face them with love? with prayer? For if we face them with hatred, and violence, not only would they be condemned, but we too, since in doing so, we let ourselves fall to the snares of evil, and by bringing more hatred and violence, we prevent the works and love of God from being manifest.
Rather, let us indeed do what the Lord told us, to end the cycle of hatred, the cycle of evil, and steadfastly refuse the temptations of the devil. Bring back our separated brethren, who are separated from us by hatred, prejudice, and jealousy, and therefore, bring ourselves together into the Light, and made our world a better place, just as the Lord wishes for us, whom He loves dearly. Let us pray, that all of us will be strong, and will be able to carry out our mission, and in that mission, to reach out to those who hate us, our enemies, to be able to forgive them and the pains and sufferings they have inflicted on us, and to love all who had persecuted us. Let us make this world a better world, based in love, peace, compassion, and harmony, instead of hatred, evil, and death. Amen.