So I saw this and my first reaction was "Oh wow... this is awesome!"
Obviously coming from "Catholic Memes" it is an indictment against voting for Obama - seen by many as the popular choice.
However, as I thought about it more, my mind drifted to what Jesus must have felt like during those moments.
He certainly didn't look as pristine and clean, that's for sure.
He'd already been scourged. Flesh was hanging from His Body and His Blood was flowing in rivers over His extremities. He was bruised, sweaty and stumbling. He was breathing hard and heavy. He was in awful pain and burned for any shred of humanity with which to cling.
The crown of thorns dug into His Head. One of the thorns dug into His Eye. His Hands were bound and He was being shoved like a common criminal... like an animal.
And looking out over the crowd that Pilate called forth, He saw no love. He saw no mercy. Instead, He heard over and over "Crucify Him" and each voice echoed humanity down through the ages in each and every sin we've ever committed or will commit.
He heard the voices of the unmerciful - OUR voices - and He felt His Sacred Heart shatter. Here He was, battered, torn, bleeding and broken for love of us, and we arrogantly turn away. We WILLINGLY choose Barabbas just as we WILLINGLY choose sin. And worse, we called down condemnation on ourselves and our future generations with that brutal act of defiance! Oh Our Lord! How He suffered for our salvation! How He must have cringed knowing the extent of what we were asking in that moment...
Yet still His Heart reached out to encompass humanity. He responded to our repeated calls for death and derision with life and love. He returned to us our mercilessness with His Divine Mercy.
This is the type of unexpected and counter-cultural calling we have as Catholics. We are not meant to return like for like. We are not meant to refuse mercy and respond to violence with more evil.
No. We are called to follow the example of Christ, and Christ took the evil He was shown, offered it to the Father, and returned it back to us purified of evil - transformed into Love, Life and Peace.
THAT is our call as Catholics - to take the evil we are given and to offer it to the Father (through Jesus). Once we do this - freely and patiently - we will be able to disperse the returned Love to others.
And this is why we should be grateful for our enemies. Through them we gain gifts to offer to the Lord so that we, in turn, have them to spread to others.
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