Note: this is a re-post from right after the election. It’s main point is as relevant as ever. This post is not to support any political ‘side’ (all of which have serious issues), but it is meant to get at something deeper.
Love even for one’s enemies is the key to the solution of the problems of our world. (Martin Luther King Jr.)
The love of one’s enemies is perhaps the mark of true Christian conversion.
Christ says: “Love one another; even as I have loved you… By this all men will know that you are my disciples” (Jn 13:34-35). Pay attention to “as I have loved you”, because it is fundamental. A special love is needed. I do not know if you have ever seen this kind of love made present, made flesh, made a sacrament, a sign. “Love as I have loved you.” Christ has loved us when we were his enemies, when we were sinners, evil. It is love to the enemy. Have you ever seen a Christian who loves his enemy? Where is that love? Where can this love be seen? Because Christ says: “Love one another; even as I have loved you… By this all men will know that you are my disciples.” In other words: “Love another as I have loved you” – that is, in the dimension of love to the enemy – “by this all men will know that you are my disciples.” That is, in this all, all, even people who are secularized, those who are far away or out of the Church, will say: look, those are disciples of Christ!
Convert and believe in the good news, in the Kergyma, in the good news, in the gospel of God! What does “to convert” mean? Christ says: “Love your enemies.” Do good to those who hate you. (Mt 5:38-43) (Kiko Arguello)
To love one’s enemies is simply just not the natural, human thing to do. It is supernatural. Left to ourselves, this is how we think and act (these are real Facebook posts today after the fallout from last night):
If you voted for hate, f*** you.
I’m going to calmly say, if you weren’t with her, f*** you
If you voted for Trump, and don’t already feel remorse, unfriend me – it’s personal.
Well it turns out 50% of our country are misogynistic, fear-mongering, xenophobic, queer-hating racists.
This is the natural, human response. We break into tribes and hate the “other”. And history is a great exposé of how that has gone.
And, really, none of us is any better than this without the work of the Holy Spirit in us. So, if we find ourselves having trouble with loving our enemies, especially in our vitriolic post-election atmosphere, we need to repent and believe in the Gospel! We need to beg the Holy Spirit for deeper conversion. If we do not love our enemies, everything breaks down.
Note: once again, this isn’t supporting any of the candidates or how the election went down. This is about something deeper.