Do you ever feel like Scripture is speaking directly to you? I do. In fact, St. John is speaking directly to me today! He even has the nerve to call me a liar! 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. He unrolls the scroll in the synagogue, reads from Isaiah and says, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Powerful stuff!
St. John seems rather audacious today, what with calling me a liar and all. What do I mean? Listen. “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.” Sounds pretty cut and dry to me. I don’t see any wiggle room here. But none of us like to think that we “hate” anyone, right?
It pains me to think that every day when I tell God that I love him, I really don’t mean it. Hypocrisy can be a harsh thing to live with. But if I take St. John at his word, then perhaps “Liar, 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.