In today’s Gospel Jesus asks us to not only love those who love us but also to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us , who curse us, who mistreat us. Jesus shows us how to stop the circle of violence, of hatred, and of evil. If we return evil for evil, the circle keeps going, usually growing wider and wider. If we return love instead, then we begin a circle of love and it, too, draws a loving response.
Perhaps this is sounds easy, but if you have tried it you may have found out that it is not so easy. Who of us doesn’t feel anger rising when someone hits us? Are we not ready to hit them back almost without thinking about it – as a reflex action? Do we not want to cry out, It’s not fair? The good should be protected from evil. The innocent should not have to suffer. But our experience tells us that so often that is not the case. If even Jesus had to suffer in his life, can we expect any less?
These can be some anxiety-provoking thoughts which we do not allow ourselves to have very often. Sometimes it is easier to cling to the belief that life has to be fair. Victims of evil must have done something wrong. God must have reasons for the evil that happens.
But, then, what do we do with the fear, the anger that arises in us when we see or hear of the innocent suffering? When we ourselves suffer unjustly? Perhaps we will look for someone to blame and often it will be ourselves. Perhaps if we had done better, the bad would not have happened. The fact is: Life is not fair. The innocent do suffer.
Our relationship with God , like human relationships, thrives on honesty. When we get hurt in a relationship, we seem to think that if we are honest about our hurt and our anger, we will lose the relationship. Many people worry. Many people would rather settle for half a relationship than not lose all of it. And that is all that would remain, a stagnated relationship, whereas, if we could be honest, the relationship could move to a deep level.
The same is true of our relationship with God. When we find ourselves angry with God, or afraid of God or sad because life is not fair, we can share our reaction with God. Telling God directly is different thinking about our sadness, anger or fear. It is true that God is with us as we think about life but such thinking does not really involve us with God. We make God a bystander rather Nathan a participant non our re. But the more we share, the deeper our relationship grows and the more Nee are changed.
If we can allow ourselves to become aware of our reactions as we live our lives, share these reactions with God, and ask for what we need over a period of time, w will find ourselves growing in compassion, love, and acceptance Niall who share life with us.
May God bless you
Your brother in Christ