October 06, 2005

Lessons in Loving: Reality Bites

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” -  Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

Yesterday’s rally against Gloria was one of the most violent yet.  Most of those who were injured, arrested and/or detained were our clients (or quickly became our clients).  Video footage of the dispersal showed indiscriminate violence by the police who were armed with metal shields which they used not to push away but to stab and bludgeon.  Video footage also showed plain clothes policemen punching, hitting, smacking men and women already in custody.

This is Calibrated Pre-emptive Response (CPR).  Welcome to Gloria’s Philippines.

Jesus, in the sermon on the mount, tells us that the peacemakers shall be called children of God.  I found it really difficult to reconcile the images I saw of the supposed peacemakers with those that God would call His children.  But that’s why I am human, fallible, weak and definitely not God and that’s why God is God.  His ways are not mine and His thoughts are not my thoughts.

The most important commandment is to love God above all else;  the second most important commandment is to love others as you would yourself.  That’s the clincher:  love others as you would yourself.  

I  found myself very angry at what I saw on video yesterday but then I found myself reflecting on loving others as I would myself.  How would I want myself to be loved? I would want to be forgiven for my wrongs and transgressions;  I would want to be treated with humaneness, with dignity.  Definitely not like how the police treated the rallyists yesterday.  

Love others as you would yourself—easy to say, extremely difficult to do.  Lord, following you is truly difficult sometimes.  Loving others is difficult, especially when they are difficult to love.  

I pray for the grace to recognize the lovability of others, transcending the façade of unlovability, and for the grace to love others, despite their seeming unlovability.  I pray as well for the grace to be able to love without first looking for lovability in others and to surrender to this grace wholeheartedly, singlemindedly and relentlessly.


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