Why do people become enemies? Often, the source of this hatred is competition. The competition may be for money, power, natural resources, or simply pride (ego). People get distracted by competition. There is an underlying assumption of scarcity that drives competition. Competition is divisive in nature by separating the conqueror from the conquered, the elite from the average, and the strong from the weak. Jesus saw no need to compete or to conquer. He came to reconcile a divided world.This thing of the assumption of scarcity, of perceived scarcity, has been a spark of insight for me today. This is at the root of so much "yuck" in the world; I think it must be one of the favorite tactical weapons used by the enemy of our souls.
I will fight, I will hate, I will become an enemy; I will harbor hurt, I will brood, I will shut down, close off, lash out -- all if I think there is a limited amount of love, of good, to be had in the world and someone else is getting it all or taking it all. I do ugly things because I think this will stop this bad thing from happening, or I do them as a pitiful, impotent protest against my miserable fate.
I see so clearly that I have fallen into this at various times in my life, and I see so clearly that others around me fall into it as well.
Solution? The tremendous grace of God. The proclamation of Truth in word and deed. Faith in the proclaimed word of God. There is no scarcity. God's love, His providence, is limitless. His care for each individual sparrow -- let alone person -- is tender and complete.
We humans are limited. Our loved ones are limited. Parents are limited. Priests are limited. Our closest friends are limited. God can and does use those close to us (and far, and strangers) to minister to us and bless us, but brothers and sisters, let us not forget that Our Lord Himself calls us to enter into His heart in the secret place of communion with Him. He is the One who is not limited. He alone is the Infinite, who satisfies.
Scarcity and the Infinite simply cannot co-exist. Now, I'm not making any "prosperity gospel" claims here -- it is not that in Christ we never encounter true material lack. That is deeply insulting to many, many people around this globe. But there is a mystery at work here. I'll speak of my own life: I wanted to be the mother of at least six or eight children. This is not a blessing God has seen fit to give me. (Instead, I have endometriosis.) Others struggle for basic means of life. Neither circumstance means that God is not the Giver of all good things. It is somehow because of, not in spite of, these circumstances that I, that we, learn that God is our all, our fulfillment. Our needs are the very means through which we learn there is no scarcity to fear in God, in the way He ultimately desires for us to be filled.
What we need is to face our own infinite need for love, and to know that our hearts indeed are restless until they rest in the Infinite.