7th Sunday Ordinary Time, year C | Lk 6:27-38
If you can, try to think of someone who is your enemy. This could be someone who has done something to hurt you in the past. Maybe this is a family member or coworker that you simply cannot stand. It might be someone who you harbour strong negative feelings towards. Although we may not like to admit it, I think that we all have enemies in our life. Now, when you consider your enemy or enemies, what do you think and feel when you hear Jesus telling you in the Gospel today to “love your enemy”? No problem, right?!
The idea of loving our enemies can seem like an extremely difficult or even impossible task. Perhaps part of the reason why this is the case is that we misunderstand what Jesus means by “love”. When you consider movies, books and songs, how is the idea of love often portrayed? Often, when we think of the word “love”, we might think of some kind of emotion. Someone we love is an individual who we have strong positive feelings towards. People we love are those who we enjoy spending time with. If love is some kind of emotion, then loving our enemies is probably an impossible task. We all have been hurt, some of us greatly, by some individuals. How can Jesus possibly be asking us to have strong positive emotions towards someone who has hurt us or who is hurting us? How could Jesus possibly expect that we would enjoy to be around such people?