Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Hardest Commandment

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was born December 22, 1986, the youngest of 16 children, and son of one of the wealthiest bankers in his country. As a young boy he attended the Essence International School, later went to High School in the British International School in Togo. A teacher, John McGuinness, described Abdulmutallab as "incredibly polite and very hard-working." Abdulmutallab began his studies at University College London in September 2005, where he studied Engineering and Business Finance, and earned a degree in mechanical engineering in June 2008, and later completed an MBA.

The first reading today says "If anyone says, “I love God,”
but hates his brother, he is a liar;
for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen
cannot love God whom he has not seen.
This is the commandment we have from him:
Whoever loves God must also love his brother. "

How do we do this? How do we exercise our right of self-defense and simultaneously show the love that is requred of us as Christians?
First of all we must think of him not simply as a terrorist but as a person, someone's son, created in the image and likeness of God. Secondly we must continue even now to respect the life that God has created even as we may reach the determination that we may never be able to release him.

The more complex question is: what turned this western educated, well-educated, child, into a terrorist?

As Christians, we now pray for him, for his family, and especially for his father, who made the most difficult choice any parent could make, to turn in his own child.
It is by remembering the humanity of all those who see us as their enemies that we, with God's grace, rise above the natural and live the supernatural love to which God calls us.