Friday, November 9, 2018
And Jesus said to His disciples, “Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. – Matthew 24:9-13
Tucked into a vivid description of when the beginning of the fully realized Kingdom of God on earth is an insightful observation of human nature. It is an insight into the psychology of the human mind, the dynamics of human groups and societies … “and because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold”.
Lawlessness incites fear and insecurity whether it be the lawlessness in the streets or the lawlessness in the cathedrals of power. This fear and insecurity brings forefront the primal instinct to survive, even to the point of lashing out at perceived threats even threats imagined or conjured. And when this primal instinct to survive becomes paramount, the circle of love and mercy shrinks, first to nation, then to tribe, then to family, then to self. And in this process of the constricting this circle of compassionate concern, the love grows ever fainter and the fearful rage grows all the stronger.
Into this cauldron of fear and insecurity, rage and defensiveness comes the quality of Love that we find in Christ. It is the Love that sacrifices self for the sake of others. It is the Love that endures crosses for the sake of a peace to come. It is the Love that casts out fear, that is not cowered by threats. It is the Love that humbly endures the mockery of a crown of thorns in a journey to higher nobility. It is a Love that grows stronger in the face of evil; it is a Love that has faith in its own ultimate power.
In the times of Christ, in an era of crosses and whips, Christ brought forth a Love that the lawlessness could not daunt. And as has occurred throughout the centuries, we again deal with the increase in lawlessness and the resultant growing cold of love.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz