Prejudice seems to be as old as the human race and it is based in all sorts of biases. The expectation that all followers of Christ love one another seems idealistic and unreal especially when we must relate to someone whom, in our estimation, is unlovable. Yet Jesus did not say,”You must be fond of one another” or “You have to be emotionally drawn to one another.” He said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” This is a love that cherishes the life of all, that wills the good of all, that is compassionate to the needs of all, and that will never deliberately hurt any living creature. It is a love based in the totally unselfish and benevolent love of God. This is a down to earth sort of love that enables us to reflect the love of God to others.
May I reflect God’s love in my relationships with all.
Meditate on the commandment to love one another. How do you respond to this in your daily life? What blocks your love for others? Is there a place of stress that needs healing?
He came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill;
you shall not steal;
you shall not covet,
and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.
If you judge people you have no time to love them.
Do not waste time bothering whether you “love” your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.
True benevolence or compassion, extends itself through the whole of existence and sympathizes with the distress of every creature capable of sensation.
Love is not liking somebody. Anyone can do that. Love is loving things that sometimes you don’t like.
At any given moment, public opinion is a chaos of superstition, misinformation and prejudice.
All human beings bear God’s image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one’s being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for either rejection or discrimination.
Bishop John Shelby Spong
We must confront persecution faced by many Christian communities and the intolerance that plagues us. We must overcome anti-Semitism and the prejudice that divides us. We must defeat Islamophobia and the fears that weaken us.
It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one’s neighbor.
The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.