In the evening of life we shall be judged according to our love. How very true! This is in keeping with the key commandments given us – to love our Lord above all, and to love our neighbours as ourselves. Our neighbours, whether we like it or not, include our enemies, those who make our lives really so much harder, as if things are not tough enough.
Still, I have come to a point – only now – and this point is important for me, and I hope it applies to those with whom I am sharing my reflection; the point is that our enemies are the ones who help us to draw closer to our Lord. When we are tried, and when things are going the wrong way, we know that our Lord is our Helper, our Refuge and our Firm Foundation. If we had no enemies, we might be tempted to grow complacent. So many of us turn to our Lord only when we find ourselves at the end of the rope! Thanks be to God!
Why do I have enemies? Only because I too am a sinner, and when I consider this, I can thank God for being merciful to me; and if God shows me mercy and compassion, who am I to frown upon those whom I consider to be my enemies? It should lead me to intercede and to pray for them, and this would be a response to our Lord’s challenge – that I love my enemies, and pray for those who persecute me. Thanks be to God!
Then, if I am wise enough, I will see how mean and how miserable I can be – unable to fend for myself. It is when I am weak that I also realise that I can be strong only in the Lord. As a mere creature, I will always have to turn to my heavenly Father through Jesus Christ my Saviour and in the power of the Great Paraclete, the Spirit of the Living God. Thanks be to God!
Matthew 25 brings always to my mind that moment when we will face our Judge of the Living and the Dead. We ask now: why don’t I do what I already know? If I know I have to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner and show compassion to the sick, the poor and the lonely, why do I not do it? Am I so stubborn of heart that I cannot bring myself to show mercy to those in need? Why am I so fast to stretch out my own hands to receive from the Lord, and why do I linger and dawdle as time goes by while the needy wait for my morsel?
Food indeed for me to chew on this Lent. . . . this was my reflection last year. . . but I guess it would still be relevant this year, 2015.