A dear friend of mine wrestles the pain inflicted on her for years by her ex-husband, who might fairly be described as selfish, vindictive, callous, and immature. Because of her deep faith, however, my friend has received the strength to cope and persevere.
Her faith has, at times, made her feel smugly superior to her “ex.” She thought it made her look better than him in the eyes of others. She’s also harbored deep resentments against him, and would secretly rejoice whenever misfortune came his way.
Over time, my friend realized that her attitudes were incompatible with her faith. So she started to fast and pray for her ex-husband, asking that he himself might come to know the Lord and enjoy happiness and peace, even if she weren’t part of the picture.
My friend’s journey was inspired by Jesus’ words in today’s gospel. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus asks each one of us to love unconditionally, just as our heavenly Father loves indiscriminately- including those who’ve hurt us, by hoping for their good, and praying for their salvation.