Fifth Day of Christmas

December 29, 2018 / By: Dustin Killpack

1 Jn 2:3-11/Lk 2:22-35

Today’s reading’s message is a really powerful one for me.  Love and Hate are two words many of us use frequently. We say we love our children, our family, and of course God.  But we also say we love movies, the Vikings, and of course coffee.  At times, we also say we hate homework, hate doing the dishes, we hate people who do “x”. We even say “I hate you.”

With our growing cultural divide, sometimes it can feel like if someone doesn’t believe a certain creed, or failed to live up to that creed, we are expected to hate that person. Today’s reading is a reminder that God commands us not to hate any person, but to love all. We can still hold on to truths without hating our fellow brothers and sisters. God’s love does not operate in terms of “deserving”, and neither should our own love.

At face value it sounds easy, but for those of us who have been emotionally or physically harmed by someone this commandment can seem impossible. How do we love someone who is toxic or a risk to yourself or your family’s wellbeing?  Speaking from personal experience it is no easy task and something I couldn’t do alone or right away. I am a firm believer that God never gives you more than you can handle. God is always there for us when we ask for help and guidance in prayer.

Love towards people is complex. Love for many of us means enjoying a person’s company, taking pleasure in their personality, achievement, etc. Love for those who are not virtuous is different. It not a love of that person’s actions or choices. It is a love expressed through hope that they may be who they ought to be, and a prayer that they open themselves up to a relationship with God. With time, prayer, and reflection, I hope we can all open our hearts to love more and hate none.

Dustin Killpack
Assistant Director, Tommies Together Volunteer Center