Matthew 5:44-45 (NIV)
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
In the Christian catacombs of Rome, the following story (retold in Modern English) was found:
"A rich man named Proculus had hundreds of slaves. The slave named Paulus was so trustworthy that Proculus made him the steward over his whole household. One day Proculus took Paulus with him to the slave market to buy some new workers. Before the bargaining began, they examined the men to see if they were strong and healthy.
Among the slaves stood a weak, old man. Paulus urged his owner to buy this slave.
Proculus answered, "But he is good for nothing."
"Go ahead, buy him," Paulus insisted.
"He is cheap. And I promise that the work in your household will get done even better than before."
So Proculus agreed and purchased the elderly slave. And Paulus made good on his word. The work went better than ever. But Proculus observed that Paulus now worked for two men. The old slave did no work at all, while Paulus tended to him, gave him the best food, and made him rest.
Proculus was curious, so he confronted Paulus, "Who is this slave? You know I value you. I don't mind your protecting this old man. But tell me who he is. Is he your father who has fallen into slavery?"
Paulus answered, "It is someone to whom I owe more than to my father."
"Your teacher, then?"
"No. Somebody to whom I owe even more."
"This is my enemy."
"Yes. He is the man who killed my father and sold us, the children, as slaves." Proculus stood speechless. "As for me," said Paulus, "I am a disciple of Christ, who has taught us to love our enemies and to reward evil with good.""
Do you love your enemies?
Dear Lord, we pray for our enemies today that they may follow you. Help us be the light that they need to see You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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