Love Your Enemy

The Gospel reading for today’s Liturgy is taken from Luke’s Gospel chapter 6 vs 31-36. A very short Gospel reading by Orthodox standards but a very powerful one. The end of the selection for today I think is the most important one of all. Love those who do not like us. How hard is this for us to do? I would say this has to be the hardest thing that we as Christians are called too but also the most rewarding.
The fathers of the church speak of the soul as the center of the body, and if the soul is sick the body will also be sick. If you are carrying around hatred for someone because the wronged you, or your family, then you need to find a way to forgive them and let go.
A new theological concept has come about in the last few years called restorative justice. It is through this concept that victims and perpetrators of crime are brought together for healing. Dorothy Day was a big supporter of this concept although it was called something different in her day.
The message from this Gospel is clear. We must love everyone, and not just the people who love us.
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