Pope: No concessions in claiming to love God but hating our neighbor

Antoine Mekary | Aleteia

Francis notes how Bible says this is being a liar, and to be a liar is to be on Satan’s side …

“Not doing evil is good, but not doing good is evil.”

Pope Francis drew on this phrase of St. Alberto Hurtado to continue a reflection during his homily in Casa Santa Marta about the forceful phrase from 1 John: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar.”

I love God, I pray, I go into ecstasies … and then I reject others; I hate them or, simply, I don’t love them, or I am indifferent to others. The Bible doesn’t say, “you’re wrong.” It says, “you’re a liar.” And this word from the Bible is clear, because to be a liar is a way of saying to belong to the devil, the Great Liar, as the New Testament calls him, the father of lies. This is the definition of Satan that the Bible gives us. And if you say that you love God and hate your brother, you’re on the other side. You’re a liar. There aren’t concessions in this.

The Holy Father added, “If you’re not capable of loving people, from those closest to you up to those who are farthest away, you cannot tell us that you love God. You’re a liar.”

The pope went on to affirm, though, that love has to be concrete and in daily things. True love, he said, is every day, “with problems, with affections, with love, and with hate … a concrete love, not a love of a laboratory.”

Help. Pray.

Francis also warned about indifference:

“There is a way of not loving God and not loving our neighbor that is a little hidden, and that is indifference.” And in this context he drew on the phrase of St. Alberto. “Not doing evil is good, but not doing good is evil.”

I don’t get into other people’s problems,” he imagined someone saying, but answered: “You should, to help, to pray.”

On a path of Christian love, indifference is not permitted, “those who wash their hands of problems, those who don’t want to involve themselves in problems in order to help, in order to do good. The false mystics don’t come in here … those who say they love God but who abstain from loving others.”


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