Becoming the Person You Hate the Most

My priest, in talking about Christ's crucification, likens Jesus's social status on earth to "the most despised person in society." More specifically, he asked us to imagine "becoming the person you hate the most." Because Christ took on such low esteem, executed as a criminal.

I thought of my grandfather, and was horrified. This is a man who has done horrible, violent things to those he ought to most protect. The idea of becoming him was completely repugnant. How could I live with myself if I was himself?

Then I thought of our vow in the baptismal covenant to "serve Christ in all persons." If I'm identifying with Jesus by becoming the person I hate the most, then I'm that much closer to seeing Christ in everyone.

Of course, the rational side of me argues that while Jesus might have died a criminal's death, he didn't do the crime. My grandfather, meanwhile, isn't a criminal only because no charges were ever pressed.

So this is still a stuggle, and I certainly have anger that lingers.

In unrelated news: I've decided that I hope very much that angels sound like Dolly Parton.

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"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins