We've had some interesting readings this past week at Mass. First, we hear that as Christians we will be hated. We also hear all about love, and the Father's love for us.
So, we have all heard about the Father's love for us. We hear it time and time again. As a matter of fact, we hear about love constantly, don't we? We seem to love everything anymore. We love so much, that we have totally twisted and lost sight of what love really is. We have beaten our love of all things and all people to death. We've mingled what love really means and what it truly means to love as Christ does.
So, let's break this down and unpack it a little bit. Why is it that these readings seem to be so at odds with each other. Why is it, that most of us probably don't feel the hatred of the world that we should as Christians? There seems to be many layers of this Christian stuff going on these days, and there seems to be an overabundance of a superficial, false love we gravitate to in lieu of the virtuous kind that Jesus calls us to.
How is this happening and why? Why have so many embraced this world and all it has to offer, while at the same time seemingly embracing Christianity. It seems that many really can have both, they can apparently eat the cake and have it too. Just look at Joe Biden, the media calls him out to be a "devout" Catholic. Well, he is a baptized Catholic, and there are many in the clergy that support him, heck the Bishops it could be argued, were somewhat responsible in part for his presidency, which is why it is laughable now that they come out and condemn his views and promotion of abortion. So, at least we are gaining one victory, the Bishops are now understanding the notion that you cannot embrace this world and belong to Christ. It is still for the most part a half effort, but at least it is something. At least we are seeing some very distinct and prominent dividing lines, and starting to see the divide between good and evil.
We've gotten here, to this terrible situation in our Church and in our Country because we just love everyone and everything way to much. We "love" everyone so much that we have determined that a God of mercy, would allow sinners to bask in their sins and live their best lives according to their own wills and their own interpretation of the commandments. We've twisted Scripture and the teachings of Christ to yield soft and emotional platforms and platitudes that now excuse and legitimize sin and sacrilege. We have reached a terrible and demonic point, we can have a "Catholic" president proposing and instituting the most evil and deranged agendas in history. It's all okay though, because we shouldn't judge others and we need to be tolerant. We don't want to call out sinners, because this kind of perverted love doesn't do that. Nope, the perverted kind of love being embraced and espoused by society these days has only emotional expectations and self absorbed motivations, which are to be supported and encouraged by all. Otherwise we are haters, and we don't love others.
In fact, a small but most vital part of the Scripture readings about love, specifically tell how to be and remain in the love of Christ. It is by keeping His commandments. It's the part that most "Christians" in an attempt to walk the balance beam dismiss and negate. Once the first step has been taken, the slippery slope becomes inescapable. Our punishment for sin, is usually the pleasure that it brings us, which just mires us in deeper sin and ultimately misery. We cannot be loved by this world and by the next. If we truly stand for truth and justice, divine Truth and justice, we will ruffle some feathers. If we tell it like it is, we will gain enemies. Ask President Trump, ask Amy Coney Barrett, ask John the Baptist, ask Jesus.
Love is a lot bigger and more demanding than actions and words that appeal to our emotions and desires and make us feel good temporally. We can't be afraid to hurt someone's feelings by calling out sin, sometimes, true love hurts! See Jesus on the Cross! Real love in Christ is tough, and we will get bruised and beaten for speaking and acting upon it. Those who love Christ, I mean, really love Christ because they make the effort to know him, and spend time with him, according to His specifications and demands, don't reflect the world all that much. They also have found a peace the world cannot give. Knowing and loving the true Jesus of history and the Gospels, and alive and present in our Tabernacles, is quite different than loving the Jesus conjured up in our own minds, imaginations and interpretations. That is what most of us do these days. We define our Faith, our relationship with God and the identify of who Jesus is and was, and our very means of salvation according to our own standards and interpretations. We refuse to surrender, to the will of God, and to His commandments. We have determined our way is better, much like Adam and Eve did.
So, if you feel at odds with the world, don't despair. That is exactly where you are called to be. You may be the minority but are never the less in good company. There is a whole communion of want-to-be Saints our there fighting the good fight with you. Those who aspire to be angels and gain "angel-wings" are sure making the Kingdom of God much more difficult to navigate, but are also providing the truly faithful avenues to holiness. When it is all said and done, the hardships will be worth it, more than we can ever understand now. God's ways are surely not our ways, no matter that the world thinks otherwise. Those of us who know and strive to love authentically and walk in Christ's footsteps might be at odds with the world but we are at peace in our hearts, that's the much better and more difficult option. False and cowardly love may reward us with prosperity and popularity, but also with hearts full of pain, terror and strife.
Love in the end is seeking the best others, the best is that peace, the best for anyone is Heaven, but choices get us there, and by choice some will miss it. We must still love everyone we can toward Heaven, it's their job to then accept that love or reject it.