Today, on my birthday, I awoke to this timely and important article on Crux by John Allen:
Many thanks to all of you for your kind and wonderful birthday greetings. The best gift you could give me would be for you to read this article prayerfully and reflectively, and think about its implications.
However we may remember, hear and tell the stories, and whatever we choose to do in response to the threats among us, we must not forget that the primary, unique and distinctive, and second-most-often repeated command of Jesus is to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, and forgive without any condition attached. The “first” most often repeated command of Jesus is “Fear not; do not be afraid.”
Let us pray that we may not let ourselves be blocked or motivated by fear, but that our response to very real threats, both local and worldwide, may be centered on love rather than mere defense and/or retaliation.
P.S. Today I enter upon my 74th year – that’s what happens on one’s 73rd birthday. I look forward to the journey as it unfolds. It’s a graced trip.