The Readings for Saturday, the 1st Week of Lent (B2)

Ego autem dico vobis: Diligite inimicos vestros, benefacite his qui oderunt vos, et orate pro persequentibus et calumniantibus vos.
But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you.

I am thankful that we have finally learned how wrong Jesus was here. We know, now, after 2,000 years of feeling guilty about hating folks, that if someone says or does something we don’t like that we should politically silence them entirely, we should boycott them, we should belittle them in public and elect politicians who will bully them on our behalf. 

No. Wait. My sarcasm always fails in pint.

But seriously. We rarely find hate among the civilized folks any more. No one has the emotional depth to actually hate. We can be nearly clinical in our niceness as we seethe with righteous opposition though. Our passive aggression is only topped by our schade freunde and both are best served chilly and callused.  We don’t have the depth to hate. Just to wound without killing.

Yes, I could be talking about purely secular politicians (I think of the recent presidential race as entirely made of of surrogate bullies) but I’m actually talking about the Church. I’ve seen some pretty stupid stuff done in the Church in my day, from ECUSA to the UMC, from the OCA/ROCOR battle to the Mtr Phillip vr the Tradies battle, to getting an earful from a Roman Catholic deacon who thought I was walking away from a Latin Mass. We Christians have some choice names for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. We may not like the communists or whomever is on the Other Side of a political battle, but we save what passes for hate these days for someone who might be in the pew next to us.

And when that emotion is directed at us we respond in kind.

It’s not hate so much as it is a de facto (and de operare) ex communication.

Only the Church can do Excommunication, friend. If the Church hasn’t done so yet, maybe the rest of us should lighten up? We all know the Church is wrong for letting Them stay here. But neither you nor I are Pope, so what will you do about them?

To love means to will the good of the other. How do we will the good of “The Other” who is into singing Eagles Wings and Liturgical Dance? How do we do we will the good of “The Other” who women should cover their heads in Church and that everyone should learn Latin? How do you will the good of someone who says a Faithful Catholic can use birth control? or, if you are that person, how do you will the good of someone who thinks you’re going to hell?

This is really how this needs to be phrased.

I don’t really care how you feel about someone who disagrees with you on Gun Control or immigration if you can’t Love the person who is praying next to you.

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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