BONHOEFFER for MONDAY
March 19, 2007
Love versus Hate
How then does love conquer? By asking not how the enemy treats love but only how Jesus treated it. The love for our enemies takes us along the way of the cross and into the community with the crucified. The more we are driven along this road, the more certain is the victory of love over the enemy's hatred. For then it is not the disciple's own love, but the love of Jesus Christ alone, who for the sake of his enemies went to the cross and prayed for them as he hung there. In the face of the cross the disciples realized that they too were his enemies and that he had overcome them by his love. It is this that opens the disciples' eyes and enables them to see their enemy as a brother or sister. They know that they owe their very life to One who, though he was their enemy, accepted them, who made them his neighbors, and drew them into community with himself. The disciples can now perceive that even their enemies are the object of God's love, and that they stand like themselves beneath the cross of Christ.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer -
from A Testament to Freedom 319
from A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer Carla Barnhill, Ed., HarperSan Francisco, 2005