“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
When Amie’s daughter Lombeh became ill in Sierra Leone, things were very difficult for her. Lombeh was so small that people would ask if Amie was carrying a doll.
She says: “People were pointing fingers at me. Sometimes I had to pack Lombeh with clothes so she would look big when I took her out… It was shameful and I felt discouraged.”
But once Amie had met the Sisters at a local clinic, things began to change. As Lombeh began to grow, so people’s attitudes began to change:
“Sometimes when we meet people, they ask me, ‘Is this the same child?’ and I say ‘Yes’.”
It is not an easy task to love our enemies. When someone wrongs us, our natural reaction is anger or hurt. But Jesus urges us in today’s gospel not to retaliate, but to respond in love.
This doesn’t mean not standing up for ourselves, or for others who face persecution. Instead, we should try not to lash out, and avoid causing more pain in our turn.