Love unites, hatred divides

Love unites, hatred divides

Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Homily by Fr. Roy Cimagala

That’s true! Love and all its different manifestations always work for unity among ourselves, irrespective of our unavoidable differences and conflicts. In fact, these latter conditions can occasion a greater and purer brand of love.

At the same time, hatred and all its cohorts do nothing other than divide us. They inflict wounds in us—mental, emotional, moral, etc.—with hardly any care to bind those wounds. In fact, they tend to make those wounds fester even more.

We are reminded of this fact of life when in the gospel, some scribes, filled with envy, suspicion and anger against Christ, made that clearly self-contradicting accusation that “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” (Mk 3,22)

Of course, Christ was quick to note the fallacy and clarified the issue by saying, “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.” (Mk 3,23-26)

Clearly, when one does not believe in God, the very essence of love, and is driven instead by hatred, his reasoning can go off the rails. Even the simplest of logic is thrown out. We need to do everything to always strengthen our belief in God, the very cause, origin and pattern of unity amid the vast and increasing diversity and variety of elements we can have in this world.

Nowadays, we are seeing the intriguing phenomenon of asserting what is right and moral as wrong and immoral, and vice-versa. What is clearly an expression of true freedom is now called slavery, and vice-versa. What should clearly be considered as taboo is now regarded as a human right. The forms of self-contradictions go on and on.

To correct this situation or, at least, to deal properly with it, we need to take care and strengthen our belief and our charity. We cannot take this duty for granted, especially now when the world is sinking in confusion and error as it distances itself farther from God.

And since we cannot avoid having differences and conflicts among ourselves, our attitude should be that instead of being afraid, irritated and stressed out by them, let’s be welcoming to them and take advantage of them. A lot of good can actually be derived from them, even if we are not exempted from being pained and mortified by them.

Our differences and conflicts, which by the way are unavoidable in our life, can actually occasion genuine love and many other virtues to develop and grow. They can purify us, smoothing out the rough edges of our personality, and fine-tuning our views, opinions and preferences.

They can give rise to the development of patience and compassion, and the pursuit for the truth and justice is guaranteed to be more authentic even if it is also arduous.

They can actually expand our world of knowledge and understanding, and trigger the dynamics of a more meaningful unity among ourselves, not in spite of but rather because of our differences and conflicts. The unity we are speaking of here is not uniformity, but one that is richly nuanced and capable of accommodating everyone.

Love develops in us a universal heart. Hatred makes us an isolated heart.