Lent reflection for 27 February
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Jesus tells the disciples today that it is not enough just to love those who love them – they are also called to love their enemies.
This is not an easy task. When someone wrongs us, our natural reaction is anger. Jesus urges us not to retaliate, but to respond in love.
This does not mean we shouldn’t stand up for ourselves, or for others who face persecution, but rather that when we do so, we must root ourselves in God’s love and justice.
Maisoon Badawi is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, who works for an Israeli human rights organisation. She travels daily to the occupied Palestinian territory to meet with Palestinian victims of human rights violations. These violations are carried out by Israeli settlers attempting to take control of the land.
God of all, may we remember that each one of us is precious in your sight. Forgive us for the times we have caused harm. Move us to respond with love and mercy to those who do us wrong, and strengthen us to stand alongside all who face persecution and discrimination. Amen.
Find out more about brave human rights defenders who risk their own lives to stand up for those who are persecuted or oppressed: