Pope Francis: We must love and pray for our enemies

From Pope Francis’ Tuesday morning homily:

“We too often we become enemies of others: we do not wish them well. And Jesus tells us to love our enemies. And this is not easy! It is not easy…we even think that Jesus is asking too much of us! We leave this to the cloistered nuns, who are holy, we leave this for some holy soul, but this is not right for everyday life.

But it must be right! Jesus says: ‘No, we must do this! Because otherwise you will be like the tax collectors, like pagans. Not Christians.’” …

“Let me just ask this question and let each of us answer it in our own heart: ‘Do I pray for my enemies? Do I pray for those who do not love me?‘ If we say ‘yes,’ I will say, ‘Go on, pray more, you are on the right path!’ If the answer is ‘no,’ the Lord says: ‘Poor thing. You too are an enemy of others!’ Pray that the Lord may change the hearts of those. We could say: ‘But this person really wronged me,’ or, ‘They have done bad things and this impoverishes people, impoverishes humanity.’ And following this line of thought, we want to take revenge or that ‘eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’”

… “With forgiveness, with love for our enemy, we become poorer: love impoverishes us, but that poverty is the seed of fertility and love for others. Just as the poverty of Jesus became the grace of salvation for all of us, great wealth … Let us think today at Mass, let us think of our enemies, those who do not wish us well; it would be nice if we offered the Mass for them: Jesus, Jesus’ sacrifice, for them, for those who do not love us. And for us too, so that the Lord teaches us this wisdom which is so hard, but so beautiful, because it makes us look like the Father, like our Father: it brings out the sun for everyone, good and bad. It makes us more like the Son, Jesus, who in his humiliation became poor to enrich us, with his poverty.”

Vatican Radio’s summary of the homily can be read here.


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About Catherine Harmon 573 Articles
Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.