A number of people got very hot under the collar over yesterday’s Gospel and how this blog and myself are the anthitisis of that Gospel.
Love your enemies
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly. To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you. Treat others as you would like them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’)
Let me share a little story my Dad Jim used to tell is as children
A young man was being brought out to be hung for his horrific crimes. His mother decided to be present for the hanging. As she arrived the condemned man reached towards her. Think she was to receive his last kiss the mother leaned towards her son and he bit off her ear and then said to her: “If you had shown me proper love and discipline when you g, W would not be standing here today.
THE LOVE OF JESUS
The love of Jesus is not romantic or emotional love.
It is the love that is informed by Truth and Justice.
Jesus came to comfort the disturbed and to disturb the comfortable.
It has two sides to it – the side that heals and is compassionate and the side that challenges and strikes fear in those doing wrong.
We see the challenging and fearful love of Christ at play when he attacks the money changers in the Temple, whip in hand, when he devours the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and when he treats both Herod and Pilate with contempt.
Jesus love is not sissy love or effeminate love. His love is Divine and challenging.
He knows when to kiss and heal.
He knows when to declare war!
Yes, Jesus does tell us to love our enemies and to pray for those who hate us.
And we must rise to that almost impossible challenge.
And it takes us time and Almighty Grace to help us travel the narrow road from hate to love.
And I think it’s a journey that takes time.
The challenge is allow the iceberg in my heart to melt so that the iceberg in my enemy’s heart will melt also.
But we clearly see from Jesus that his prescription for those who hurt little children is to have a stone tied around their neck and be thrown into the sea.
Let’s not insult the Truthful and Fearful Love of Jesus by suggesting that the solution for absolutely every situation is hugs, kisses, permissiveness and choclate and coco.
“Poor Father. Father has a problem. Pray for Father. Dont tell anyone what Father did to you in case it would cause scandal for his Church. Offer it up with Christ’s sufferings. Your abuse might be the very thing that gets you into heaven”.
Bullshit! Pious bullshit! Suicide Catholic bullshit!
You love a child abuser by reporting him to the police, bringing him to court and sending him to jail.
You love a serial sex abusing cardinal by dismissing him from the college of cardinals and the clerical state and letting him live under close supervision.
You love a Dom Kirby by calling out his sexual harassment of young monks and by removing him from the monastery in order to stop him continuing to abuse.
All of that is also TRUE LOVE, TOUGH LOVE, JESUS LOVE.
Jesus has something to say to those promoting emotional permissive love for wrong doing and wrong doers.
“Would that you either cold or hot. But you are lukewarm and I will spit you out of my mouth”.
Let’s start by giving the tender love to victims, the sick, the poor etc.
And then, after we have given the wrong doers tough love by calling them out – and when they have changed and promised not to hurt people again let us give them tender love too as they journey to rehabilitation and conversion of life and heart.