Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.
We have heard that it was said : Love your fellowman and hate your enemy. But Jesus tells us : Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. If we love those who love us, there is nothing special or exceptional about that because the tax collectors and even pagans do as much. For our part, we shall be righteous and perfect in the way our heavenly Father is righteous and perfect.
Jesus spoke only once of being perfect as the Father is. This was in reference to not differentiating between friends and enemies. We are to imitate God who loves everybody. To do this we must not only cultivate a heart of love but also an ability to understand others. To realize that there is a place for everyone in the present world and that God directs everything for the benefit of all, we attain the criteria of God and are perfect as the Father is perfect.
The Father in Heaven makes his sun rise and shine on both bad and good, and he gives rain to both the just and the unjust. They are the same to him, therefore fellowman and enemy are supposed to be the same too in the eyes of God. He loves them both and they are actually our neighbor. When asked by a teacher of the Law which was the first commandment of all, Jesus answered, ” The first is : you shall love the Lord, you God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. And after this comes another one : you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these two. ” Mark 12:30-31 There is no other choice and we shouldn’t differential one from the other, but continue to love and pray.
When you love your enemies, you reveal what kind of God our God is.