Today’s Gospel presents a beautiful and difficult command: we must love our enemies. Jesus doesn’t let us off the hook with something simpler like, “tolerate your enemies” or, “put up with your enemies while making snide remarks about them in your head.” No, Jesus is clear: we are to love our enemies. Love wills the good of the other; love puts the other first; love values the other the way God does. Loving our family and friends seems easy. Loving enemies – or even loving those who just annoy us – seems a lot harder. Loving those who love us in return is natural. But as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to a supernatural way of loving.

During this season of Lent, how can I re-ignite love for those who have hurt me? How can I pray for them with sincerity? How can I show love without any expectations?

Maggie Melchior is a convert to the Catholic faith. She currently serves as Coordinator of New Evangelization and Faith Formation for a parish in the Diocese of Green Bay.