There are an awful lot of challenging things in the Scriptures. Today's words from St. John in our first reading are right near the top. More on that in a sec. Today’s Gospel reading from Luke 4 is one of my favorites. We see Jesus begin to reveal who He truly is as He begins His public ministry. He unrolls the scroll in the synagogue, reads from Isaiah and says, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Powerful stuff!
“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.” These words from St. John cut right to the heart. Why? Because they make me admit that I am a liar. And that's a hard truth to come to grips with. But wait...none of us like to think that we “hate” anyone, right?
There are not a lot of things you can call someone worse than "liar." None of us want to be thought of as a liar. But if I take St. John at his word, then perhaps “liar” would be an apt moniker for me. It’s not that I mean to lie when I say I love God. But I have to face the truth about being a liar.
Father, forgive us for those times when we proclaim our love for you, but fail to love our brothers and sisters here on earth. Give us the grace to practice loving those we can see. Amen.
In my book Magnetic Christianity, I talk about being a liar in the chapter on Honesty. Get a copy today at www.GusLloyd.com.