If anyone says, “I love God,”
but hates his brother, he is a liar;
for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen
cannot love God whom he has not seen.
This is the commandment we have from him:
Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 Jn 4:20-21)
Whenever I see this Gospel passage, I think of the cartoon with Linus from Charlie Brown: “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.”
Our job of being good Christians is so easy when we talk about people “out there” somewhere. We find it easier not only to talk about them but to serve their many needs.
However, when we talk about the people in our own lives — the ones with whom we work or interact as well as family members — it is often a different story.
We oftentimes find it really hard to love them.
We definitely find it hard to like them.
We find it much more convenient, simply, to avoid them.
Whoever says he loves God but hates his neighbor is a liar. Those words from Jesus really sting us, mainly, because often engage in hatred. We hate some people, we shun some people, we call some people names, we avoid some people, we do everything possible not to have to interact with some people.
Let’s quit being frauds.
Let’s love everyone, including those with whom we interact on a regular basis.
FAITH ACTION: Are there people in your life whom you shun, ignore, or hate? You know what to do.