Daily Gospel Reflection

February 24, 2024

February 24, 2024


Facing Persecution

3 min


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Gospel

Mt 5:43-48


“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, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Readings are from Dynamic Catholic’s New Testament Bible: RSV Catholic Edition

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Transcript


Facing Persecution

Welcome back to Radical and Relevant, where we're exploring the genius of Jesus in the Gospels, taking a few minutes each day to read the Gospel, to reflect on the Gospel. Today's Gospel comes from Matthew chapter 5 verses 43 through 48. "You've 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, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His Son rise on the evil and on the good and send rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect." What jumps out at me today is pray for those who persecute you. Who's persecuting you? At this time in your life, who is persecuting you? Who is making your life difficult? Who is gossiping about you? Who is going against you at work? Who is aggravating you, agitating you? Who is persecuting you? And why are they persecuting you? What is it something about you that rubs them the wrong way? And is it because you're living out the gospel or is it because your ego is getting carried away?

Pray for those who persecute you. Pray for your enemies. This is one of the great spiritual challenges of the gospel. Sometimes it's easy to think, "Oh, I don't have any enemies." But the reality is, is that enemies of the gospel are your enemies. Enemies of God, enemies of Jesus. They're your enemies as well. And I think it is important for us to pause and say, "Okay, these people are opposed to us. These people are opposed to what we believe to be good, true, right, just noble." And the call of the gospel is to pray for those people.

Sometimes, you read every day, "This person died or that person died." And sometimes I look at this and I think, "Wow, I wonder, this person's died today. I wonder who is praying for that person?" And I think the great tragedy is that there might be nobody praying for that person. And so today, I want you to look around the world, think about who are your enemies near and far, who are the enemies of what you believe to be good, true, right, just, and noble, near and far. And let's pray for them today. God bless you. Have an amazing day. Remember, don't just be yourself, be the very best version of yourself, all that God created you to be.

February 24, 2024

February 24, 2024