Radio Show

Treating People with a Christian Attitude

First up in this clip from the Busted Halo Show, Father Dave and Brett hear some funny Ash Wednesday stories from listeners. In one, a man describes his pained effort to make it to an Ash Wednesday Mass, only to realize that he crossed a time zone on the way and missed the last Mass of the day. In another, a woman tells Father Dave about a peculiar practice in her parish of using a stamp kind of device rather than one’s thumb to put ashes on the foreheads of parishioners.

Next up (07:45), a caller needs some advice from Father Dave on how she can better show Christian love, even to those people in her life who she doesn’t like or “can’t stand.” She gives a little context and explains that she is a nurse, and sometimes her job is so difficult that she feels like she “cannot go into that room again … I cannot face this person.” Patients can be very trying, but so can her co-workers: “I can relate to them, but no way am I ever going to have them over to my house for dinner.”

Father Dave jumps right in: “I’m glad you said that because I think that’s a very important distinction … Christ calls us to love other people, to love our neighbor as ourselves, but [we sometimes think of] ‘love’ in our modern era [as that] warm and fuzzy Hallmark kind of love or Valentine love, where you have to be starry-eyed. But loving someone and liking someone are different.”

Father Dave continues: “Jesus does not require that we have everybody over to our house … When Jesus says ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ [the people listening to him] ask, ‘Well, who is my neighbor?’ … And here’s how Jesus defines neighbor — he tells the story of the Good Samaritan. The guy who was left by the side of the road, bloody and beaten up, and Jesus tells about other people walking by, and the Samaritan — who, to Jesus’ audience, would have typically been the bad guy because they didn’t like them — the Samaritan turned out to be the good guy. And why? Not because he liked [the injured man] or took him to his own house, but because he spent some time binding up his wounds, putting him on his donkey, and getting him to a safe place … So in many ways, [as a nurse] you are indeed loving these people as Jesus calls us to merely by your service.”

As he wraps up his answer, Father Dave recalls a song from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” in which the character of Tevye asks his wife, Golde, if she loves him. Golde recounts all of the things she does for him — washed his clothes, cooked his meals, raised his children, milked the cow — and says, “If that’s not love, what is?” Father Dave ties the exchange into the caller’s question by pointing out that “sometimes love doesn’t look like it does on the first date in a romantic comedy … but sometimes love is shown through service.”

Similarly, when Jesus gives the commandment to love at the Last Supper, he shows the disciples what he means by getting down on his knees and washing their dirty feet. “So, essentially, what we’re commanded to do is to be in service to others … I would say, based on what it is you do and the frustrations that come with that, that you are in many ways already doing [what Christ calls us to do] for the people you are serving.” (Original Air 03-03-17)