As hate is learned, so is love. Some might have a natural propensity for disliking everything. That isn’t taught. As well some might have a natural propensity for being warm and welcoming always. That is probably not taught either. But we cannot possibly know what we have not first experienced or learned. Now in spite of what we learn from experience, we can still choose to respond differently. The operative word is “choose.” So children of mass murderers and egotists and major “pains-in-the-butt” can still grow up and choose to be warm, loving, compassionate human beings.
It isn’t difficult to convince us that justice can be harsh. We’ve probably experienced it from our own parents. “This hurts me more than it will hurt you.” Yeah, right. And in that childhood moment we vow to listen better and be more patient, compassionate, and forgiving to our own children. And in that moment we learn something we won’t easily forget because we make a free choice to “act” on the truth we have learned.
Along our journey, we learn about love. Not the warm, fuzzy kind, but the merciful, encompassing, give-them-the-benefit-of-the-doubt kind. But we don’t all learn alike. Some will continue to be oblivious, which is not a sin. We hope and pray they learn one day. But when we do learn the great truths about Love (capital L), we are motivated to extend love to others in return. There is no confining love. But unless it is given freely, it is not the best kind of love, which makes it no love at all.
God’s love and care for us is articulated in sacred scripture and expressed in the created universe all about us. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to draw that conclusion. How can God condemn us if God also acquits us? Says Paul to the Romans. For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son … John 3:16. When you know, the light bulb turns on. And you cannot unknow what you now know.
This mass was celebrated for the repose of +David Maurer.
Rolo B Castillo © 2020