How do you “love” when your feelings seem to indicate the opposite of love? It’s easy to love those whom you like or are drawn to. The “chemistry” is there and the feelings we associate with love arise within us. This “love” is the foundation of marriage and friendship. When Jesus is asked about the greatest commandment, he tells the scribe of the greatest commandment, to love God Ruth all one’s heart, mind and strength AND to love one’s neighbor as yourself.
Jesus brings together the two commandments that were written in the Old Testament, but they were separated, in two different places. The genius of Jesus is to basically say that BOTH loves, of God and neighbor, are necessary to enter the Kingdom. You can’t love God but hate your enemy, not if you want to follow Jesus.
“Forgive them Father, they know not what they do,” are words of love spoken by Christ on the Cross. His love is a deep choice arising from his broken heart. Jesus is walking the talk, as he spread his arms as wide as possible on that Cross of love.
Jesus teaches in his greatest Sermon to LOVE our enemy. The mark of a disciple is one who chooses to love, especially when it feels nothing like the love we can easily relate to. Our neighbor: the hated Samaritan, the sinner who hurts us, people we don’t like, people who truly hate us... these are all neighbors deserving of love.
No one said this would be easy.