Love Your Enemy,
Drawing by Randell Summerford,
Drawn in 2017,
Pencils and crayons on paper
© Randell Summerford Art
Love your enemies
Jesus said to his disciples: 'I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
'Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.'
Reflection on the Drawing
Today, we are looking at another drawing, titled 'Love your Enemies'. The drawing is pretty self explanatory so I won't dwell on it, but isn't this the sweetest drawing! We don't always have to look at serious or high art in order to lift our spirits.
When reading today's Gospel, the word 'enemy' always strikes us as a harsh word. Many of us don't really have enemies, at least we don't think so. Yes of course, some people we like more than others and we get on better with certain people. But true enemies? So if we think we don't have any enemies, then is this Gospel reading still relevant to us? The point Jesus is making is that the people we like less or get on with the least, are exactly the people who can bring out the very best in us. They can bring out healthy competition and motivate us to achieve even more. Their negative comments or attitude towards us can make us see our own faults better and help us improve.
Of course Jesus also called his followers to 'love their enemies' in the context of all the religious persecutions which would soon follow. The enemies were those who persecuted the early Christians for their faith in Christ. Whilst Christians are still being persecuted in parts of the world, in the West the enemy must now surely be the rapid, relentless and deep secularisation...
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Readings related to Luke 6:27-38
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