– Tuesday of the 11th Week in Ordinary Time –
“Love your enemies.” [Matthew 5:44]
What struck me first as I read today’s Gospel was the word ‘enemies’; it’s not a word we hear often these days. It caused me to ask myself, ‘do I have any enemies and, if I do, how would I know?’ As it happened, I was pondering this while driving in an unfamiliar part of Brisbane and I suddenly found myself in the wrong lane. I put my indicator on to move but was met by a very nasty driver who, under no circumstances, was going to help! In a split second, my heart hardened!
As the adrenaline subsided, a little ‘Holy Spirit’ thought came to me… ‘That’s how you know someone’s your enemy… the state of your heart towards them’. An uncomfortable realization followed. You see, if my google search was right and an ‘enemy’ is ‘a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone’, then by allowing my heart to harden towards her for her actions against me, I became an enemy also!
Thankfully, there’s a far more powerful word in this gospel… love. When we choose to love, hard hearts become soft, peace replaces turmoil, mercy replaces judgement, gentleness replaces aggression, enemies become friends and broken relationships are restored. When we choose to love, we intentionally lay down the burden of hatred and resentment so that joy, harmony and peace can reign. When we choose to love, we choose the perfect way of our heavenly father, whose love has the power to transform the world.
In case you’re wondering, that day in the car, I did manage to choose love. Let’s all pray for God’s grace to choose love again today.
By Chantale Wilson