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.
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