When we feel beaten up and we feel that we have had enough of life’s battles, we cry out in despair, “When will I run out of enemies? Oh, when, Oh when, will my enemies leave me in peace?”

The Lord never promised us a life without enemies. In fact, He seemed to be so sure that we will always have them that He advised us to love them simply. “Love your enemies,” the Lord said. He Himself had enemies. A good man that Jesus was, He had the scribes and the Pharisees who always looked at Him with contempt and disgust. With friends like the Pharisees, who would need enemies? Jesus also had to contend with the pro-Roman group among His countrymen. They saw in Jesus somebody who was not a friend of Caesar, a threat to the empire. Then there were the enemies in His own circle of friends. Judas comes to mind so quickly. But so was Peter, who wanted to tempt the Lord and make him run away from the cup of sacrifice. Finally, there was the archenemy, the tempter in the desert who wanted Him to change the stones to bread, who wanted Him to make a clown of Himself, who wanted Him to kneel down and worship the evil one.

We have our personal enemies, and we also have our common national enemies. Some people seem to have taken it upon themselves to make life more difficult for Us.

It seems that some people are disruptive by nature. These are the kind of people who will disagree with everything they see and hear. Their mission in life is to criticize. Their mission in life is to express their being disgruntled about everything. If you arrive at a consensus, these are the same people who will not be satisfied. They will continue to criticize the consensus, and they will wait until it is proven wrong. Ultimately, they will say: “I told you so. I told you it would happen.

There are those who threaten our lives, our property, and our security. There are those who tempt us into laziness, into greed and lust, and dishonesty.

When all these people have been won over to our side, we still have to contend with the greatest enemy, the self. Our greatest enemy is the sinful self, the old self that urges us to take the easy way out, the self that tells us to get over others. Otherwise, they will make a fool out of you. The self that opts for revenge rather than forgiveness.

We have many enemies, too, on the national level. We have the so-called terrorists -real or imagined or made up. We have self-serving politicians and appointed public servants who have begun to like power and have become afraid of losing them. We have the heavy taxation system that is hardly working and has become a load that the poor find impossible to carry. We have a government that opts to raise revenues by legalizing things immoral. We can lay the blame on our situation on all things and on all people, and on all events of the past. But we will get nowhere unless we lay the blame on ourselves. Let us be mature enough to recognize that our greatest enemy is ourselves.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.
Let there be change in the society, and let that change begin with me. Jesus won over all His enemies because He was true to Himself.

We, too, can claim victory over all these enemies if we recognize the enemy within us that we have started to coddle, protect, and safeguard.

Our friends can become our enemies one day. The self that we love today very much can become our own condemnation one day. God will be our only faithful friend. Let us ask Him to show Himself to us-our real friend.

Jesus Our Light

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