I do not think that anyone really wants or likes to be hated. I was looking at Jesus on the cross today and right now as I write. One must be a great criminal or a great threat to be hated so much as to be tortured like Jesus was. It’s easy to think about what others did to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The truth is, I am one of them.
Striving to pick up my cross and follow Jesus is my goal each day. I try my best which is all I think our Lord asks of me. But my sins, the same types of sins each day of selfishness, self gratification, impure thoughts and more put those nails into Jesus. I am sorrowful and know that without God’s grace, I would be in complete darkness. With Jesus, there is always hope. He knows me better than I know myself. My struggles are not unique but they are mine. Because of my struggles, I am much more tolerant of others and have learned to keep working on that plank in my eye before I can remove the speck from my neighbor’s eye.
Many people do not want to follow Jesus and the teachings of the Church. I do, but I often fall very short. My spirit is very willing, my prayers keep me close to Jesus but my flesh is still very weak. I get it in my mind, it makes sense to me but transferring it to love in my heart is where my challenge is. I ask, “How can I continue to offend Jesus with my sins and continue to tell Him throughout the day how much I love Him?” I do love Him, He knows it and I believe He is extremely patient with me. God is amazing!
So today in the Gospel of Matthew 10:16-23, Jesus tells us we will be hated by all because of His name. His startling words are hard to hear…
Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
Sadly we experience this today in our society. Sin, when rampant can surely bring hate for Jesus. Satan, the father of lies and king of sin hates Him the most. I know I am a great sinner, maybe not by the world’s standards but by the standard of picking up my cross each day and following Jesus. The straight and narrow road has been showing me some alternate paths to nowhere. All the more reason to pray for the grace to love the Lord with all my heart soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself. Tonight, I jump into the ocean of God’s mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.