BY SHELBY SMYTH | October 26, 2020
Sunday’s Readings

I remember in my confirmation classes in high school, we talked about hatred and love. My confirmation teacher shared with us her own prayer when she had difficulty loving someone as Christ would: “Lord, share with me a fraction of your love for this individual.” She challenged me to explore the idea that, just like Christ loves me despite my downfalls, He does so with those that I do not seem to like so much or those that I struggle to understand. And He calls us to do the same. This memory has shaped every relationship and interaction that I have had since. 

love fearlessly

This Gospel passage this week holds more weight to me this time reading it, especially with it being the end of the weekend of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, being in the midst of a global pandemic, and with the election right around the corner. Christ’s answer to the question has influenced my way of being—as well as the Ignatian Family—to find the intersections of faith and justice and to pursue them steadfastly. It is the reason I am proud to be part of the Ignatian network. We are meant to love fearlessly, especially those that are overlooked and underserved. Christ’s answer to the question constantly pushes me to view each person as important, and for my presence in their life (even for a second) to be an opportunity for me to love my neighbor as I would want to be loved. 

Christ’s call to action in this Gospel is to love each person that you come into contact with as much as you would want to be loved. Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Fratelli tutti, holds this week’s Gospel message at the very center of it. He challenges us to reflect on our relationships and how we view others, especially marginalized and excluded persons, because recognizing Christ’s face in each person is how we can shape a more compassionate world for the common good. Challenge yourself to understand and take on the burdens of the marginalized and excluded, loving them unconditionally as Christ loves you. 

Take this call to action into this week, this month, this lifetime, and especially into the voting booth.

4 replies
  1. Avatar
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    They are priceless which money cannot buy. Fearless minds and loving hearts are powerful weapons of mass construction.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Daniel Marcin says:

    Thank you so much for this reflection. I always can easily think of many failings that I have whenever I hear that we must love our neighbors, all of our neighbors, as we are commanded to.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    RJ Andes says:

    We’ve all been there where we have shown hate against someone or something, no one is perfect . But it’s what you do by learning from it and improving has a person and try not take it to extreme levels like we see today there are examples from all walks of lives even those that claim to be incapable of hate do so secretly.

    “especially marginalized and excluded persons” does this include those race backgrounds that are never held in a good light by people that advocate justice because you exclude them.

    Where’s the compassion for the victims of crime, innocent police and those children suffering in deprived conditions ? people only show compassion when it suits them this is the true reality, if there intentions are pure it’s only temporary until they forget why in the first place and it goes back to how it was before.

    Reply

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