Easy to love the people who love us in return. Not so easy to love the folks who do not think the way we think—the ones we don’t like. The evidence is always around election time.
People stop speaking to each other. Families part ways. Violence erupts in the streets—all because of different ideologies. That’s why Jesus Christ was hung on a cross, because powerful people did not agree with His ideas. Who ever heard of loving everyone? Who ever heard about treating everyone with respect? We discriminate. We have our close circle of friends. We also have folks that we see every now and then. Some people we avoid completely. Yet, in the back of our mind, like a whisper is the voice of Jesus that says, “Love one another as I have loved you.” That’s a tall order. We know that Jesus loves us without conditions. He forgives us over and over. Never keeps track of our sins. But we hold grudges. At times we refuse to forgive. Or we give each other the silent treatment. The result is a big gap between what we believe and how we act toward one another. That’s called hypocrisy—the sin that Jesus pointed out often to the Pharisees—the inconsistency between faith and actions. The same inconsistency has crept into Christianity. Unfortunately, so many see Christianity like a “club”—a nice thing to do on the weekend—an insurance in case God gets angry. Christianity was not meant to be a religion but a way of life. The early Christians were called “People of the Way.” That’s why Jesus said, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Love is our Christian ID. Our Faith does not depend on saying daily prayers, but rather how charitable we are, starting at home.
Home is the most difficult place to live the commandment of love. Love has been around since the beginning of Creation. However, for disciples of Jesus Christ, love is not an option, but a commandment. Remember that the Commandment of Love summarizes the Law and the Prophets. All 613 Commandments, including the 10 famous Summary
Statements have their origin in love. Since all love comes from God, God is the One who took the initiative to teach humanity how to love. Through the centuries we always got it wrong. Historically we never kept our end of the Covenant. Until a young lady surfaced, She was out of the ordinary, since women were not highly favored. Where everyone else had failed, She succeeded. Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant.
We celebrate Our Blessed Mother during the month of May. We remember Her fiat—Her Yes to God. Mary said Yes without knowing what was going to happen. We’re not comfortable getting out of the house without knowing the weather report. The GPS gets us to our location and the air-conditioning maintains our comfort level. In other words, we’ve gotten soft. Moral issues are in the mouths of politicians rather than what parents discuss with their children. Just because something is legal, or illegal does not make something right or wrong. People are going to do what they want. God gave us the gift of free will. Question is, after a choice is made—whether we agree or disagree, will we still love them? Will we love someone who makes the wrong choice? God does. God never stops loving us, even when we sin. Mind boggling because we live in a system of punishments and rewards. There are no “freebies”. In Christianity there are! Salvation is free! That’s why Christianity continues to be revolutionary. Only folks who are willing to put the sin of pride aside can forgive themselves and others. Only people who have suffered can accept forgiveness. Jesus paved the way. From the cross He pronounced absolution on all of humanity. “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”
We are the beneficiaries of perfect love. The challenge is to love each other in the same way.