(A Lenten contemplation)
The most important one, answered Jesus, is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. (Matthew 12:30-31)
I recently saw a post on FB about a group of white supremacists who were convicted for terrorizing a children’s birthday party. I raised these questions in commenting on this post, “Where does this racial hatred come from that is embedded in our culture? How can one feel superior just by being born a particular color or vice versa? Schools cannot undo it. Churches cannot heal it. Is racial hatred the most powerful energy in the world? My questions were not meant to be cynical. But hatred seems so illogical. Love is so much more understandable. I believe that love is so powerful that people who give it and share it with others can change this world. Those of us who chose to live this way are being compelled to speak out and encourage everyone to please love one another.
We are in this world together. If we see ourselves as disconnected from our neighbor, then we will misjudge them. When we see our neighbor as ourselves, then we judge correctly. We are on this journey together. We have no alternative in my way of thinking than to strive for the perfect solution; love. To meet hatred with hatred will surely guarantee our destruction. Darkness and hate seek to destroy but love and light will bring us together.
Jesus showed us the power of love when he died on the cross. This love affirms that we are all valuable and the Father loves us. With God’s love to empower and fill us, we can love our neighbor as ourselves.