August 11, 2019: The Power of Love by Father Jadon

By Father Jadon

Last weekend was especially tough.  The tragic shootings in El Paso and Dayton sent shock waves throughout the country as the news spread and we struggled to grasp both the reality that each had occurred and the fact that mass shooting incidents such as these, and gun violence more generally, seems to be getting worse in our society, not better. We are called to do more than pray, to be sure.

The week before was also tough, as wide swaths of the county grappled with an increasingly heightened climate of racial tension in our public discourse. Some argue that it is better to have this tension out in the public than hidden behind closed doors. Others fear that progress made in the last several decades is eroding at increasingly alarming rates.  In a widely publicized July 30 statement our own bishop was called to ask, “when will Americans have enough?” The statement went on to suggest that this question has less to do with questioning any particular person’s decency and more to do with questioning ourselves: "When does silence become complicity? What will it take for us all to say, with one voice, that we we have had enough?”

Jesus was no stranger to violence or to harsh public discourse, and I think that we as Christians must take seriously the example he left us of stepping forward and speaking truth to power in response. But perhaps the most powerful truth Jesus spoke was the power of love. More than anything else, love is the most powerful tool and, dare I say, "weapon" that we have to wage in the war against evil that has been being waged since the very beginning. 

In the days and weeks and months ahead, both when you know the truth and how to speak it to those who hold power and when you don't, try spreading love as a way to respond to the "evil that enslaves us." There are now more than a thousand of our Love Your Neighbor banners and yard signs on display around the world, and we're going to step up our own efforts to spread the message even more broadly. But even more powerful (and challenging) is finding ways to put this "greatest commandment" into action, in ways both great and small, not as a quid pro quo but preemptively, until love wins, as we are promised it one day will.
Last Published: August 8, 2019 4:16 PM
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