Rev. Stanley M. Moczydlowski, M.B.A., M. Div. (Fr. Stan)
February 23/24, 2019
Today’s gospel speaks about the impact of our actions of love or hate. The Lord asks us to love our enemies, do good to whose who hate us, bless those who curse us, pray for those who mistreat us.What could possibly justify such radical charity? Jesus gives us the justification: “Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.”
To be a Christian is to bring an experience of God to the world. The Christian is called to proclaim Jesus Christ. How can we proclaim God if we behave in a manner that is the total antithesis of God?God is love. How can we proclaim God if we hate? The Mission that the Lord has sent us on is far more important than the question of who started the fight. By refusing to respond to injury, we alert the world to a new attitude of life. From the cross, Jesus forgave all who participated in his torture and death. From our hearts, we have to forgive anyone who hurt us. The vicious cycle of hatred can only be stopped by people determined to love.
All of us have our own battle stories. All of us have been “done dirty” by others. Perhaps some of us have let bad situations become worse by taking a shot back against those unjust aggressors in our lives. What was the result? Nothing was resolved, and the world suffered because we didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to bring God’s love and mercy into the world.
It’s a great gift the Lord gives us when he points out that the way to happiness is rejecting hatred.The only one ever destroyed by hatred is the person who does the hating. Those who find peace in their lives are the ones who are so tied to God that others experience God’s presence through them.
As Lent approaches we should consider some type of sacrifice or mortification, but the most important is not the fasting that may also cause us to loose weight, but the fasting that focuses on losing any form of hatred that may have crept into our lives. Two wrongs do not make a right. Our upcoming Lenten focus should be on forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace. Love one another as God loves you.