This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1Jo 3:11-18 NIB)
In building a community of pardon that is the temple of God, we have to recognize that no one of us is complete, self-sufficient, perfectly holy in himself. No one can rest in his own individual virtues and interior life. No man lives for himself alone. To live for oneself alone is to die. We grow and flourish in our own lives insofar as we live for others and through others. What we ourselves lack, God has given them. They must complete us where we are deficient. Hence we must always remain open to one another so that we can always share with each other. The greatest of gifts then is this openness, this love, this readiness to accept and to pardon and to share with others, in the Spirit of Christ. If we are open we will not only offer pardon, but will not disdain to seek it and recognize our own desperate need of it. THOMAS MERTON, SEASONS OF CELEBRATION, 229
The traditional Buddhist greeting is namaste. It is a recognition of the divine spark in the other person. Theologically, we might call that spark the ‘Imago Dei,’ the image of God. I would call it love. Why can’t we see the love of God in everyone? In some, it might be buried deep, the trials and tribulations of life can cause us to retreat deep inside, but that love is still there. Let us love one another.