Loving the unlovable PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 June 2017 14:56

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

WE need to be ready for this difficult duty. Christ commands us to love our enemies who can be described as the unlovable. They may not be those who offend us one way or another.

They can be those who are so completely irresponsible, lazy, hard-headed and abusive that their only purpose and business in life seem not only to be totally dependent on us but also to continuously give problems to us.

They are like leeches that we cannot seem to get rid of. But yes, we have to love them just the same. Not only that. We have to love them more because, and not in spite of those conditions. Let’s remember that charity knows no bounds.

We may find no reason at all to love them. In fact, all our reasoning, our common sense and all other senses would point to hating them or, at least, to ignoring them. Our patience with them may already have long run dry. We seem to have done everything for them, and yet they continue to produce problems.

Still, in spite of these scenarios, we still are duty-bound to love them. “Love your enemies,” Christ told us in no uncertain terms. And he lived it himself, by dying for all of us. No rational or sentimental basis supported such actuation. It was done purely in compliance with the Father’s will.

With his death on the cross, he actually assumed all our sins, delivering death to our sins with his own death, and rising from that death to give us a way of rising also from our own death due to sin.

And before his death, one of his last words was precisely to ask for forgiveness for those who crucified him, that in the end are all of us and not just those directly involved in his crucifixion. He asked forgiveness for all of us even if we have not yet asked for forgiveness ourselves. This is truly loving the unlovable.

That is how he loves us, and how we also ought to love one another, since he also told us to “love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 13,34)

It’s clear that we can only love the unlovable if we are truly and vitally identified with Christ, that is, if his spirit truly

animates us. And this is actually possible and doable because Christ has given us all the means so that he and us can be one, living our life together.

Of course, we have to avail first of the spiritual and supernatural means that Christ has made available in abundance for this purpose. But we also need to do some drastic adjustments in the way we view or consider persons and things.

At times, we have to do battle with our own reason, with our own common sense, our own feelings, instincts and preferences if only to allow the grace of God to work on us, enabling us to love the unlovable.

We just have to reassure ourselves that by so doing we actually would be purifying and Christianizing these human faculties—our reason, will, emotions, instincts, etc. We would become more human, since to be truly human is to be like Christ, the very pattern of our humanity and the redeemer of our damaged humanity.