Wednesday, February 08, 2017
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
The world is not fair nor is God. The sun warms the just and unjust alike. God makes no distinction.
Christians and those of faith are not spared disease or misfortune because they believe in Christ. God makes no such promise. They are as likely to have bad things happen to them as the rankest atheist.
This undermines the faith of too many who wonder why bad things happen to good people. They have misunderstood the nature of the Loving Mystery God is.
God is love. Love is not something God does, but who God is. It is God’s nature to love, to give the goodness of life and grace to all and everything, to everyone and in every moment.
God is a fountain of outpouring love, embracing the shoulders of everyone with the warmth of the sun and giving life-giving rain to the fields of those who acknowledge divine presence and those who think God a fiction.
If I understand anything of God, joy accompanies this outpouring. God delights to give the goodness of life and love. God eagerly gives. God may be compared to a person of joyful heart who meets each day with a smile, with open hand ready to share every blessing he or she has.
We know God in such moments of open-hearted giving. We enter the stream of mercy and joy that flows constantly from the divine heart. God is better understood as a verb than a noun, for God is movement, a stream of unending love constantly flowing through time and space.
Jesus’ command to love is not a command at all, but an invitation to enter the surrender your heart to this flow that seeks you anew every morning. Let yourself go. Let the warmth of this Love wash over you, melt your sadness and dissolve your resentments.
Just be and know this Love. Allow the Loving Mystery to awaken the joyful desire to smile on every face you see and bless every moment with your presence. This, of course, is not your presence at all, but the Presence of a Love beyond every imagination.
Pr. David L. Miller