No room for hate
In this season as we prepare for the birth of Jesus, we reflect on his life and ministry which is, of course, why we celebrate his birth. Jesus was filled with love. There was no room in his heart for hate. No matter who the person was, there was not hate from Jesus. He expresses compassion and love. He decries the abuse of power that takes advantage of “the little guy,” but he does not express hatred even toward those who live at other’s expense. He does not express hatred toward anyone even those responsible for his crucifixion.
We saw a bold witness to that kind of faith in the public sector this past week. It was not something you expect to see even at this time of year. But at the end of a press conference, as she was leaving the podium, a reporter asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “Do you hate the president, Madame Speaker?” Pelosi returned to the podium and stated unequivocally, “As a Catholic, I resent you using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. Don’t mess with me when it comes to a word like that.”
What a beautiful, bold proclamation of the way of Jesus! It was refreshing to hear! No hate. It’s that simple.
This is a season to examine our hearts in search of hatred. What hate are we harboring? What do we need to release? How do we need to hold ourselves accountable to the way of Jesus? Not quite sure where you stand? Think you might be missing something? Really want to know the truth? As someone close to you, “Who do you think that I hate?” “Do you think I have anyone or any group?” Take their answer seriously. Don’t jump to defend yourself. Listen. Learn. And remember: There is no room for hate as we make our way with Jesus.
Prayer This Advent season may we seriously scour our hearts for hatred. May we evict hate from our lives. May we make it clear to ourselves and others that because of our faith, we do not hate. Period. Amen.