– by Jonah Evans
A contemplation inspired by the gospel reading for last Sunday, Matthew 5.
It is the height of summer and the lush green fullness of life is all around us. But the vibrant colors, fragrances and nourishing forces of summer all come from something other than what we see now. All of this fullness and glory began as a seed.
Each one of us – every soul on this earth – is also a seed, a seed that will hopefully blossom into a true human being. A secret of inner Christianity is that we are only seed and as seed, not yet truly human, only potentially so! But unlike nature, we cannot just sit in the sun and water our toes in order to become who we are meant to be. For the fruit of our true humanity only ripens in us through growing towards the spiritual-sun of selfless love. Selfless love springing to life in our souls is the true human being, everything else only seed.
And yet, there are so many weeds that would choke this growing, so many temptations in our souls that would hinder our becoming truly human in this world. Criticizing others and ourselves chokes our ability to love our brothers and sisters. Needing to be right, the desire to win and be successful in the eyes of this world are all weeds that would block our way. Or the weed of blame, especially if our blame is justified, hinders our ability to love those who betray us, to love those who break our hearts. But in light of the tragic killing that is taking place all over the world these days, perhaps the most difficult weed of all, is the temptation to think that violence is justified and reasonable especially in self defence. For there is nothing that would make us more truly human than if love for our enemies blooms in our hearts.
For in the light of the true human being that is to come, all violence of any kind, is anti-human, anti-Christ and comes from the beast in us even if the world says its justified.
Until we love we are only unworthy creatures, seeds of possibility, groping in the dark soil.
Sacrificial love in freedom is not only what Christ is, it is what we are meant to become.