This arrived late Sunday, from a parishioner who took issue with my homily that morning:
I really feel you were misguided in you presentation of today’s sermon at the 11:30 AM Mass. Loving people and reaching out with love to those that have hurt us, (individually) is one thing. And has to be done on a selective basis. Reaching out and loving a people or a terrorist leader like Osama is wrong. He is a madman that wants and continues to direct our destruction / down fall and causes (through his orders and philosophy) continuing acts of violence in the free world. When you are dealing with what I believe to be a “disciple of the Devil” you are dealing with someone that is headed for hell and unforgivable. He is following a philosophy (like Hitler did) and made it a religion (like Hitler did with the Nazi Occult). Do you really believe that people in the 1940′s should have “loved and prayed” and “forgiven” Hitler ? I don’t. The same would apply today, with all Disciples of the Devil. Einstein, makes a valid point: “The true problem lies in the hearts and thoughts of men. It is not a physical but and ethical one. What terrifies us is not the explosive force of the atomic bomb but the power of the wickedness of the human heart.” I am sorry if the above may offend you. I still believe, on a personal, individual, basis – with people that are loving, human beings, (and not known to be “animals”) that what you said this morning is true. People are measured by their actions…..and no matter how hard we try to forgive, sometimes their actions are so terrible that forgiveness is not possible. Some people are “unforgiven”…and there are places marked in Hell for them. Do you believe that Jesus would forgive (pardon) Lucifer ? Bye the way, I still do respect you.
To answer the last question: as far as I know, the gospels do not give us an example of Christ ever refusing anyone forgiveness. I’m not aware of any example of Jesus personally withholding his love from anyone, either.
All I can go on is today’s gospel: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Whether or not Jesus would forgive Lucifer — and, frankly, it’s not for us to know how Christ or His Father would ultimately judge anyone — he almost certainly loves him and prays for him, and all those who fall under his influence.
Didn’t he do as much on the cross?