Monday, May 25, 2015

Some things are okay to hate: Daily Mass Homily--Monday, May 25th, 2015

(Listen to this homily here).

            A few weeks ago I had an interesting experience.  I can’t remember all of the details, but I think I was at a family’s home for dinner when one of the kids said, “Fr. Ben said a bad word at church.”  At this, my heart skipped a beat.  I could see myself letting something slip!  I didn’t remember anything of the sort so I asked the child, “What did I say?”  He said, “The H word.”  I was really puzzled then when the Mom said the word I had used was hate. 
            This moment inspired me in two ways.  First, good for this mom and dad teaching their children to speak well and pure!  They were instilling in their children the call to love, not hate.  Second, I had used the word hate in a flippant way—I probably said, “I hate when the donuts are gone”—and it was good to be reminded of the importance of good speech.
            At the same time, remember that some things at some times are okay to hate.  Yes, we want to strive to love, but listen again to the words of Jesus Ben Sira: “Turn again to the Most High and away from your sin, hate intensely what he loathes, and know the justice and judgments of God…” 
            At a deeper philosophical level, remember that God Himself does not hate—God is love.  God doesn’t have emotions or even make choices in time as we understand it.  Yet the sacred authors of the Bible personify God’s manifestation of things outside of His love as hatred.
            It is good to hate sin.  It is good to hate error.  It is good to hate evil.  In so doing we never hate people but wicked actions, ideas or beliefs.
With these thoughts in mind, here is a great examen to ask yourself: do I hate what God hates?  Do I love what God loves?  Think about these questions today…

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