Tuesday, June 18, 2013

As Loving Children

As Loving Children

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
By Beth DeCristofaro

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father … (Matthew 5:43-45)


Bless, O Lord, those who cut me off in traffic.  Bless my associate who is so strident.  Bless leaders who make hurtful decisions because of their unbending adherence to an agenda rather than to the people they serve.  Bless the former acquaintance who no longer speaks to me.  Bless those who don’t take me seriously because of what I believe.  Bless, dear God, those who make war.  Bless me, Father, when I do any of these things to another and guide me that I might love rather than persecute.


When she was a child, Sr. Jose Hobday reacted to an act of discrimination against her mother.  In doing so, she learned a valuable lesson.  At a restaurant they refused to serve her mother because she was Native American.  Jose had lighter hair and complexion, being only half Native American, and thus the waitress brought her a cold glass of milk.  Jose settled the score by pouring out the cup of milk all over the table and floor.  However, Jose’s mother did not thank her.  Instead she told the young girl that Jose had chosen to act just like the discriminators and that vengeance always brings sour results.[i]

God’s love is free.  We do not earn it by being good or doing the “right thing.”  Jesus loved the hard-to-love.  In fact as Cursillo reminds me, Jesus loves me even in my least loveable moments.  As difficult as it is to love sometimes, by not doing so we sour our own soul. 


Compose your own prayer to bless persecutors in your life.  Then say a prayer for yourself for the ways you persecute.  Ask for God to help you love more fully.

[i] “Spilled Milk” from Stories of Awe and Abundance, Sr. Jose Hobday, OSF, Continuum, New York,  2001, p. 33.

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