June 7

 

Reflection

What is it that causes us to live amid so much hostility? We are not born hating one another. Most often when children come together they will instinctively play with one another without questions or expectations. Group hatred tends to be a learned lesson. It flourishes in the absence of compassion. It may be that we fear and are threatened by what is different from us and we turn instinctively to those who are like us. We seem to hate persons because of what they are more than because of what they do. When shared, hate spreads quickly and, when people are exposed to hate-based violence, it further feeds their hate. The antidote to hate is not love but compassion.  Compassion makes us unwilling to scapegoat others or categorize them because we are open to understanding their situation. It reflects the personal self-worth that does not need to regard others as inferior.  Compassion enables us to act with the sensitivity born of wisdom.

Prayer

You are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86:15

 

Action

Do you find yourself antagonistic to any group of persons? Are you categorizing the whole group because of your interaction with one person? Do you personally know anyone who is a member of that group? Do you know the history and culture of that group? Recall groups of people in the past who were antagonistic to one another or regarded each other as inferior. Have things changed? If so, how did it happen? Are you willing to engage with persons of another  group or become friendly with them in your work place or community?

Suggested Reading

When the scribes who were Pharisees saw Jesus eating with these people, they asked His disciples, “Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?
Mark 2:16

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:36

We live in times in which feelings that to many had seemed to be outdated appear to be reemerging and spreading. Feelings of suspicion, fear, contempt and even hatred toward other individuals or groups judged to be different on the basis of their ethnicity, nationality or religion, and as such, believed not to be sufficiently worthy to participate fully in the life of society. These feelings, then, too often inspire real acts of intolerance, discrimination or exclusion that seriously harm the dignity of those involved as well as their fundamental rights, including the very right to life and to physical and moral integrity.
Pope Francis

That is what it means to proceed in the “ways of peace.” It means having the courage to make human connections with those we fear, with those we hate, with those who think differently than we do. It means refusing to leave the other behind as we go.
Joan Chittister

The most amazing fact about Jesus, unlike almost any other religious founder, is that he found God in disorder and imperfection—and told us that we must do the same or we would never be content on this earth.
Richard Rohr

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.
Coretta Scott King

Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.
Will Smith

Racism is a form of hate. We pass it on to our young people. When we do that, we are robbing children of their innocence.
Ruby Bridges

We are one people with one family. We all live in the same house… and through books, through information, we must find a way to say to people that we must lay down the burden of hate. For hate is too heavy a burden to bear.
John Lewis

In time we hate that which we often fear.
William Shakespeare

When you really know somebody you can’t hate them. Or maybe it’s just that you can’t really know them until you stop hating them.
Orson Scott Card

Too often, people in our communities and around the world are beaten down by hate that we consciously or unconsciously spread. But it’s hate we should be beating. The prize for doing so is a sweeter future for all of us.
Sally Kohn

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