February 12, 2020 - Wednesday 4:02 AM by Fr. Roy Cimagala
To be sure, if we have to truly Christian, we need to be
tough, really tough. Christ himself was tough, but with the toughness
of love that goes all the way of assuming all the sins of men by
offering his life on the cross. To be Christ-like we need to be tough.
At the same time, to be tough we need to be with Christ. Otherwise,
whatever toughness we may show would not be the real toughness
expected of us.
This toughness of Christ was described by St. Paul in his
second letter to the Corinthians: “For our sake, God made Christ to be
sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness
of God.” (5,21)
St. Peter made the same assertion: “Christ bore our sins in
his body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to
righteousness.” (1 Pt 2,24) In other words, Christ was not afraid of
sin if only to save the sinner out of his love for all of us who are
all sinners. He was and continues to be willing to assume our sins, as
if they were his own, if only to save us.
He was not squeamish, prudish or puritanical in his attitude
toward our sin. In fact, he was kind of proactive about it, unafraid
to get dirty as long as what really matters about us is accomplished.
That is why he was fraternizing more with the sinners than with the
As he himself said: “I came not to call the righteous, but
the sinners to repentance.” (Mk 2,17) And, “God did not send his Son
into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through
him.” (Jn 3,17)
We need to train ourselves in this kind of toughness. What
we have to avoid is the phenomenon now described in the British slang
of the word “snowflake.” As described by some people, a snowflake “is
a term used to describe an overly sensitive person who thinks the
world revolves around them.”
Such person “gasps in horror when he hears an opinion he
does not like, and believes he has a right to be protected from
anything unpalatable.” He is “self-obsessed and fragile, easily
offended, or unable to deal with opposing opinions.”
When we truly follow Christ, we take the initiative to
approach and be friendly with everybody, regardless of who or how they
are. We would not be easily scandalized by whatever defects, failures,
offenses or sins others may have. In fact, these conditions would draw
our attention and affection for them more.
In other words, we do not wait for other people to show some
signs that they deserve to be loved or cared for by us. Our constant
attitude is to love everyone automatically, showing keen interest in
everyone and eagerness to help in any way.
This does not mean that we do away with the difference
between good and evil, truth and falsehood, what is moral and immoral.
We should not condone evil, but we have to learn how to deal with evil
in all its forms in a charitable way.
Evil is defanged by goodness, not by another evil, as in
going into hatred, anger, revenge, indifference, etc. Whatever malice
there is can always be overcome by the goodness of God’s mercy as
shown by Christ who asked for forgiveness even for those who crucified
God’s mercy will always have the last word. As St. Paul
said, “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” (Rom 5,20)
Obviously to overcome evil with goodness will always involve
suffering, for which we have to ready. That is why we need to be
We have to teach our heart not to be easily overtaken by
anger and other bad emotions and passions. Let us teach it how to be
tough with the toughness of Christ’s love and mercy.
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