Lord, it seems so counterintuitive to love my enemy. Somedays I feel surrounded by the opposite message.
News outlets, social media, neighborhood protests, someone screaming over the back fence… The way information is communicated is irrelevant. Marshall McKuen way back in the 60’s stated eloquently that “the medium is the message”, which if you buy into that… then the subject matter becomes irrelevant as well whether it’s Gun Control, Pandemic responses, Parental control over school curriculums, or politicians who placate rather than lead.
What it’s really all about is fear, right Lord? The fear of loss of control, loss of security, loss of comfort, even the loss of freedom from fear. You say that we must love our enemies and be good to those who hate us. But we fear to do so because of what we may lose, just as some may fight against us for fear of what they may lose or not be able to gain. And yet, You want us to let go, to trust in You, our perfect loving Father. We must keep your greatest commandments: To Love God with our whole minds, hearts, and all that we are. And to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Never has it been more obvious than with instant global communication that we are all truly neighbors).
We must trust that life is not a zero-sum game, as if I can only gain if you lose, and you gain only when I lose. Isn’t this, in essence, the same message you gave us in the Sermon on the Mount? Blessed are the meek, those who hunger, mourn, long for righteousness… for they will gain.
Help me to see, Lord, that You ask me not to just seek understanding, but to understand, not to just speak but to listen, not to only wish for acceptance but to accept, and to share what I have without the fear of loss. Because in this way I can love my enemy. I will fear no loss because I know You love me, beyond understanding.
Ray Alonzo is the father of three children, grandfather of two, and husband to Jan for 45 years. He is a USN Vietnam Veteran, and a 1969 graduate of Mother of Good Counsel Passionist Prep Seminary. Ray currently serves on the Passionist Alumni Council.