2 Corinthians 8: 1-9. Praise the Lord, my soul! – Ps. 145 (146): 2, 5-9. Matthew 5: 43-48.
Pray for those who persecute you
In general, we hear Jesus’ words for His followers through the lens of our place in a global, millennia-old church. In this context, followers of Jesus include those in the halls of power, people in the highest offices. For them, the advice “love your enemies” could be read as a call to mercy towards those affected by their decisions.
It is also helpful to look at the words as they would have been heard by Jesus’ followers. They were part of occupied territory and themselves part of a sect on the fringes of Jewish society. Her enemies were her pursuers, and they were everywhere. Loving her was a far greater risk than losing public recognition. But that is exactly what Jesus wanted.
Today let us pray that we will all have the courage to risk our own comforts in the service of the same love.
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