We’re so grateful that Fr. Michael Schleupner shares his homilies with our virtual audience on our blog. He is also a favorite presenter and spiritual director at our Center and will be with us for the August Directed Retreat this summer. You can click here to learn more. Fr. Michael’s blog today begins a new series about a difficult topic that, unfortunately, we’re seeing frequent examples of in our world today. The wisdom he shares from scripture is something that we can all learn more about to make our world a better place! Take a few quiet moments to read more…
Hate – 1
On two occasions, Jesus tells us to “hate,” and we have to understand his words very carefully.
“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” (John 12:25) The word “hate” in this passage really means to prefer or prioritize. So, Jesus is really saying here: if we make his way and not our own earthly comforts our priority, then we will be living God’s life, and someday we will enter fully into that life.
And then, Jesus also says: “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke14:26) Scripture scholars tell us that this is one of the places where Jesus exaggerates to make a point. And again, his point is that we make him and following him our priority in life.
So, let’s be clear: Jesus never tells us to hate anyone – and that means anyone! Instead, he commands us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) As if that isn’t enough, he also teaches us to “love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) Jesus doesn’t give us any wiggle room here.
There is never a situation where it is okay to hate others. We are, in some way, to love all persons. We are to be neighbor to others and not try to determine who is and who is not my neighbor. We are to be neighbor regardless of whatever differences there are. (Luke 10:36)
I am getting into this topic because of the hateful words and expressions and the number of hate crimes in our country. We as baptized persons, as disciples of Jesus Christ, are to bring our faith to bear on this problem.
More on this next week…
~Father Michael Schleupner
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