I was watching the news last week and found myself wondering this odd thought: Who is praying for Kim Jong-un?
I think about this man so little that I had to look up how to spell his last name, folks. But I wondered about him last week as the news talked about him being out of the media due to a possible illness (maybe even COVID-19).
Who is praying for this man to have a real encounter with Jesus Christ and be converted to Christianity?
Who is sincerely praying that he gets an encounter with Love itself, Divine Mercy, his Savior, his Lord? Who is praying that Kim Jong-un will come to believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Who is praying this will transform his life for the better? Who is praying for his well-being to God the Almighty Father?
Quite honestly, it made me really fearful that the answer might be, "No one."
It made me sad because what I know about Jesus Christ and who He is IS SO BEAUTIFUL that I want to share Him and His Good News with everyone I know. I want everyone I know to get to heaven. I want everyone I know to live a holy, adventure-filled life animated by Christ's love, joy, mercy, and graces. But most of the people I know are fairly nice to me. Most of these people are people who already believe. The people I love are not my enemies.
But we are called, as followers of Christ, to want these beautiful things for our enemies, too.
Why does this thought process about Kim Jong-un matter? Why am I telling you this?
Jesus commands us to love God with everything we've got, to love ourselves, and then to love our neighbors. Jesus also commands us to love our enemies by praying for them. He commands us to pray for those who persecute us. Jesus says that we get no reward for loving people who love us back. Loving people who love us back is easy.
But God loves even the wicked and hopes they turn from their evil ways to Him... and we are called to love like God loves.
God loves His enemies, and we are called to imitate God - to be like Him in every way so we may be just as merciful and loving as Him.
That's why my thought process about Kim Jong-un is important. It was my reminder (thank you, Holy Spirit!) to pray for people who I don't want to be around, people who make choices I don't agree with, and people who don't want to be around me.
Jesus commands me to pray for people who hate and avoid me.
Jesus commands me to pray for people who hate, dislike, and disagree with sound Church teachings about how to live their lives.
Jesus commands me to love people who think evil is good.
And you are called to love people like this, too.
Jesus' mission to draw people close to His most Sacred Heart has not ended. He asks us to participate in praying for His enemies to become His friends, for His adversaries to become His trusted disciples. He commands us to pray, and therefore help conversion stories like Saul to Paul happen more.
Here's how I want to follow Jesus' commandment to love my enemies:
Whenever I pray in the future, I always want to include a prayer for either a specific person (like Kim Jong-un) or for a general person/situation (ex: unrepentant murderers) I consider an enemy. I want to sincerely pray for their best and for their conversion.
By praying, I am letting God have more room in my heart to make it more merciful AND I am interceding for someone else.
Intercessory prayer is powerful and God needs us to pray for each other. He commands it. So we need to do it.
PLUS the prayer of a righteous person is heard by God, and if we keep asking for something from Jesus (and it's in line with God's will), Jesus will provide it for us.
Let's pray for our enemies. Let's pray for people who hate us - or people we hate.
I challenge you to pick a person in your life who you might consider an enemy and pray for them consistently. Someone who you avoid. Someone who avoids you. Someone who doesn't do things in line with the Church. Someone who hurts others. Someone who never apologizes and/or never changes. Pray for that person. Pray that God helps you see that person as He sees that person. Pray that person receives all of the blessings in life that you want to receive for yourself. Pray that you see that person become more fully alive in Christ. Pray for their well being. Pray and pray some more! :)
Read the article below for more details about this topic. It really opened my heart and gave me a much needed new perspective on this subject. https://www.catholic.com/audio/caf/love-your-enemies
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Our Lady of America, pray for us!