‘My son Absalom! My son! My son Absalom! Would I had died in your place!’2Sam 18:33

The Sad Picture
Is it right to wish your enemy dead? Before you answer the question, I want you to read the following statement by Emmanuel Ojeifo:
‘Religion has so groomed and programmed us today to become collective children of anger, hate, retribution, bile vituperation and verbal spiritual assault.’ In the name of prayer, all that comes out of our mouths are death wishes to imaginary enemies that do not exist anywhere, but in our minds. Not only has Christianity become a charade, a charlatan’s trade, a mad man hustle, a noise-making business, it has ultimately become a blasphemy. Our priests and pastors and evangelists have not only taught us how to insult the hell out of our enemies and pray to God to kill them, they have ultimately taught us how to command God, decree for him what he must do and tell him how to curse the children he created in his own image. God must surely be weeping for Christianity today.’
The Healing Step
Back to the question. Is it right to wish your enemy dead? Your answer reveals at least two things about you: that you have been hurt by others (or at least you presume that they are responsible for your hurt) and you are not happy with the experience. What you do after this is what either proves that you understand the words of Christ in Matthew 5:43-45 about loving your enemies. And you have not misinterpreted the words in Matthew 11:12 about the kingdom suffering violence as referring to your presumed enemy. At no time does Christ endorse violence as the remedy to any problem. What he approves of is that we speak up against evil around us, whether it appears in the cloaks of rich and corrupt religious leaders or it is dressed in the ‘agbada’ of powerful and blood-thirsty public officers. Desire justice not vengeance. Justice says those who are guilt of bloodshed should be denounced and punished. Vengeance says, everyone that looks like the culprit should be killed. That will only compound the problem. Evil should always and everywhere be denounced. But the power of life and death are not in your hands. If anything, learn from King David who mourned his son Absalom who desired nothing but death for his father. Hatred to the point of desiring death for others is a sign of spiritual death or moral haemorrhage and Jesus has the cure for both.
Poverty of Love Pope Francis has this to say to those who struggle with forgiveness:
“Do I pray for my enemies? Do I pray for those who do not love me?‘ If we say ‘yes,’ I will say, ‘Go on, pray more, you are on the right path!’ If the answer is ‘no,’ the Lord says: ‘Poor thing. You too are an enemy of others!’ Pray that the Lord may change your heart. We could say: ‘But this person really wronged me,’… And following this line of thought, we want to take revenge…With forgiveness, we become poorer: love impoverishes us, but that poverty is the seed of fertility and love for others, just as the poverty of Jesus became the grace and great wealth of salvation for all of us. Let us pray so that the Lord teaches us this wisdom which is so hard, but so beautiful, because it makes us look like our Father: it brings out the sun for everyone, good and bad. It makes us more like the Son, Jesus Christ, who in his humiliation became poor to enrich us, with his poverty.’
Lord Jesus, true Wisdom and heart of mercy, heal my bleeding with your touch, raise me to life from my spiritual death through sin.
Today’s Readings
2Sam 18:9-10,14,24-25,30-19:3; Ps 86:1-6; Mk 5:21-43
Sources for quotes:
  • catholicreport.com
  • oblongmedia.net