Read 1 John 2:3-11, Ps. 96:1-3,5-6, Luke 2:22-35

“He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling.” (1 John 2:9-10)

As natural as hatred may seem, St. John teaches us today that hatred is blindness. To hate a person is to write off the person. It is closing your eyes from all the good the person was in the past or could be in the future. To hate a person is reaching a conclusion about a person which is different from the way God sees the person.

No matter how bad we are or the amount of bad things we do, God never hates us. Like the prodigal Father, God continues to wait for our return and repentance. The only way we can claim to be like God is to free our hearts from any form of hatred.

St. John tells us: “He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still... he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Just as one cannot walk far in the night when it is dark, we cannot go far in life with hatred in our hearts. The person you hate right now may be your saving grace tomorrow. Hatred is a sign of unforgiveness and a betrayal of our Christian faith.

In today’s Gospel passage, the baby Jesus is presented in the temple. So many people speak well about Jesus. Simeon says something to Mary about the child Jesus that a sword will pierce through her soul. This was a prophecy of the pain Mary would go through thirty-three years later when she watched her son condemned, scourged, and crucified before her eyes.

The year is coming to an end. Now, let’s face it, if you do a little retrospection, you would realize that so many persons have really hurt you this year, some of whom you are still struggling to forgive. There are those you have vowed never to forgive given the nature of their offense as well as the amount of trust you had bestowed on them before. 

You may have discovered in the course of this year that some of those you took as friends or business partners were worse than Judas Iscariot. There are those you have deleted their contacts and cut off ties with them; those you have sworn to revenge the hurt thy meted on you.

St. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:26, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” In a similar vein, I say: “Do not enter the new year with hatred in your heart.” Even if you are not yet ready to forgive (you cannot force it), do not wish evil for the one who has hurt you, do not condemn anyone. Pray for their repentance. 

Pray also that God may open your eyes to see that you have also offended many knowingly and unknowingly. Pray that God may soften the hearts of those who have vowed never to forgive you for things you did or failed to do. 

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, open my heart to love as you always do. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (5th day within the octave of Christmas. Bible Study: 1 John 2:3-11, Ps. 96:1-3,5-6, Luke 2:22-35).