Commentary on the Gospel of
PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU
Sometimes, we feel that Jesus is asking impossible things from us — like this one. How can we love someone who just humiliated us, spread all sorts of false stories about us, destroyed our good name? How can we love people who hate us or show how much they despise or look down upon us. And worse still, how can we pray for those who are persecuting us, have us falsely accused, arrested and detained? And yet yes, that is what we are enjoined to do because it is but natural to love people who love us, to appreciate those who do good to us, show us appreciation or even admiration. But to be a follower of Christ demands more. We have to do what does not come naturally to us. And by ourselves, we cannot do this. We have to ask God’s grace to look at the good side of people, to forgive their actions against us. Maybe what can help is to remind ourselves that God sees something good in them and so we ask God to let us see this good that
is in them. And as we know with God nothing is impossible – even loving those who hate us and praying for those who persecute us.