Love, love, love.
When a man asks Jesus what is the greatest commandment of them all, he answers, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
First God, and then our neighbors. The interesting thing is that Jesus doesn’t say anything about loving those that love us. Instead he says, love your neighbor. It’s a difficult thing to do, because we as humans are selfish. We only learn to love those that will love us back. However, during Jesus’ life, he especially loved those that society rejected. For example, the sick, the blind, the deaf, the mute, the dirty.. he loved them all, and it seemed that his ministry was to reach out to these said people. His heart was moved with the suffering of these people that had nothing to offer to the society around them.
During the time I spent in Hungary, I experienced a sort of blind prejudice. Many Hungarians grow up with the perception of gypsies that often is not the current reality, but as I say this, know that this is slowly changing. This prejudice, sometimes hate it seems, came to affect the life of my family. The gypsies are often seen as a deceiving people, even outside of Hungary. Sadly, it’s a misconception that most of the world holds. This was then passed on to us. On a specific time, when I was looking for something at a store, I noticed that there was a guard following me around the aisles. I was frightened, because I didn’t understand the reason why he would want to follow me around. I barely touched the merchandise and when I grabbed something, I quickly dumped it into my basket. However, because I looked like a gypsy, he naturally thought I was going to steal from the store.
The funny thing is that Hungarians love Brazilians. I mean, who doesn’t, really? In the 1960’s, the Hungarians played in the World Cup against the Brazilians. Interesting fact: the Hungarians are amazing at soccer! Anyways, in this game, the Hungarians beat the Brazilians pretty bad. Until today, you still hear on tv about this game. So, there were many instances when Hungarians found out that we were Brazilians that it seemed that they went through an inner struggle. There were people who came up to my family, who apologized for judging us because we looked like gypsies.
But why all of this? Why is it that there’s always a certain group that is discriminated? Are we not all the same? Do we not have the same fears, joys, hopes, skin, bones, blood and organs? Jesus saw us, on the cross, beyond our exterior. He saw the broken and needy people we were. The kind of people who needed a Savior. He loved us, even before we were born…. Even being dirty, deceiving and selfish. Why do we not do the same that was done for us? If he saved us, why can’t we demonstrate the same love to our neighbor? It’s a small way demonstration to show what Jesus did for us.
I’m not really talking about gypsies… but that one person you really don’t like. That one person you ignore, maybe because they have a different lifestyle or a way of doing things. You know exactly who I’m talking about. Why don’t you get out of your comfort zone and love that person?
If we’re going to act like the humans we are, then because Jesus loved us we need to love others.