Love and hate
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, You shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill;
you shall not steal;
you shall not covet,
and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 14:25-33), Christ Himself says His followers must hate.
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me
without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.”
A large part of the confusion comes from misunderstandings of what love really is and what our Lord means here by hate.
Love is not a mere emotion. Nor is it to be confused with desire. Love is intending the good of another: the true good – not a selfish good.
The world – especially today – twists the concept of love into a myriad of selfish forms.
We must love truly and the Commandments and the teaching of Christ guide us in true love.
But what our Lord means by “hate” in today’s Gospel is by no means the opposite of what Saint Paul means by love: Christ does not call us to intend evil for others, but rather to prefer Him radically above all things: above self, above father, above mother, and so forth.
We must love – we must intend the true good of others – and we must fulfill our godly responsibilities- especially toward those close to us – but Christ must come above all and before all.
Actually, this makes our love for others even more powerful and effective, for we will not see others as objects for our own good but as ones loved by God and whom we must love with Christ’s pure and true love.