Today I write from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from the Killing Fields. It was not so long ago that this happened. “Why did they do this to them?” Since then there had been many other killing fields, acts of terror incited by ideology or religion. And sadly, these atrocities seem to be the trend. Perhaps we should ask, “Why are we doing this to one another?” Will we never realise and acknowledge that all humanity are one?
After Sri Lanka, a panelist on a news station suggested that religion should be moderated to curb this growth of religious extremism. Some would no doubt advocate banning religion altogether. I am more familiar with Christianity but I believe that all religions preach a set of good moral values. None advocate killing.
How can we argue with Christianity when the main message it preaches is to love one another? What is so off-putting about a God who has done nothing to demand that we believe in him but yet love us all unconditionally? Why not advocate religion and promote loving one another to the extreme? Why are we shunning the God-Love option? Perhaps it is because we have started believing in the gospel for self instead of the gospel for the other. In so, we have refused to be humble.
To counter religious extremism, maybe every ‘moderate person’ should return to their faith instead of abandoning it. Too many of us ‘moderate people’ have walked away from the practice of our religion. For the glory of the world or for the glory of self? We can negate religious extremism only when every person embrace a religion and begin to practice all its good values.
“Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one. I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.” (Today’s Gospel)
Humility is the seed for extreme love. There is a choice within us to concede space in both our opinions and acts to the other person. It is a choice to climb down from our claim of “my personal rights”. Humility is a concession of self. Only then can true love flow out of us. Humility allow for this nature of our created self to surface which is to do only good, to love. Only then we can effectually acknowledge that all humanity are one.
Humility is also the nature of God. His supreme desire is for the good of each of us. His humility dictates it is more important first to follow this love. This comes above a need to proclaim a belief in him. He created us with this nature to love. Love dwells in us “so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.”
We cannot continue to go into trade wars; this is mine and nothing is yours. We must trade taking with giving, mine is yours, pride with humility. The only way for our self-preservation is to journey through life as one. When we are one, the world will not have any more space for any killing fields.
7th Sunday of Easter