Friday, July 6, 2012

Love The Sinner

It is true that God hates sin. However, He does not hate the sinner. This is the underlying message of today's Gospel reading. (Matt. 9:9~13) The more learned of Jesus' day could not understand why He would choose to eat and be in the company of someone like Matthew. Jesus sends them off to contemplate His words: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." I wonder if they did really seek to understand what He meant? I sometimes wonder if we do too.
If we allow ourselves to get caught up in the ways of the world, it becomes very easy to judge, or more precisely, condemn others. Behaviors can and sometimes should be judged~people should not.
We all fall into the category of sinner. We may not be living in a state of mortal sin (praise God for that!), but we all succumb to our fallen natures from time to time.
Mahatma Ghandi once said of Christianity: "I like your Christ, but not your Christians." He did not find many Christians who were truly Christ~like. If we don't live our lives following Christ's example (or at least trying to), we add credence to Ghandi's statement.
What others should see in us is our kindness, our mercy toward others, and a striving to live the virtues.
So as Catholic Christians who accept Christ's invitation to "Follow Me.", let us:
Hate homosexuality, but not the homosexual...
Hate adultery, but not the adulterer...
Hate abortion, but not the abortionist, or the woman walking into the clinic...
Hate religious persecution, but not the persecutors...
This is no easy task, but Our Lord commands us to live this way, and He has given us the perfect example in Himself.
Hate the sin, not the sinner.

Comments always welcome on The Front Porch

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.