Jesus said, “I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For He makes His sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you?”
– Matthew 5:44-46
Jesus constantly teaches us to love our neighbour, and for Him, everyone is our neighbour. Our Lord goes so far as to say that a Christian should have no personal enemies, nor return scorn with scorn. A believer’s only enemy is evil as such – sin – but never the sinner. Jesus Himself puts this into practice with those who crucified Him, and He continues to act in the same way towards sinners who rebel against Him and despise Him.
This is the apex of Christian perfection – to love, and pray for, even those who persecute us and calumniate us. It is the distinguishing mark of the children of God.
My Lord Jesus, help me love like You love.
Gently remove my hurts with the sweet balm of Your own love for me.
Heal my wounded pride and lift up my sagging spirit.
Change the darkness of my distressed soul into light,
and give me the will to love…like You loved on that Holy Cross.