The culture of modern people is competition. We want to compete. We love to compete. We get excited when there is competition. We begin by competing in school for grades, for awards. And then the competition goes on to oratorical contests and art contests. Then the competition goes on to college—the competition for relationships, the competition for careers, the competition for politics, the competition for business. Even the present crisis of Iraq and the United States is a product of the culture of competition.
Competition is good, but if it is pushed too far, it can make all of us neurotics. Competition is good, but if it is pushed too far, then we will just step on one another, trample one another, because the goal is to get to the top, as soon as we can, as fast as we can.
The culture of the world is competition. But that is not the culture of Jesus. The culture of Jesus, if we listened to the First Reading and the Gospel, is called the culture of compassion.
There is one psychologist who asked the question, “Is the culture of competition totally opposed to the culture of compassion?” He was saying that if we choose a culture of competition, and we can get to the top at the soonest possible time, we can get the most money, we can get the most people to our side.
But as I said, it can burn us out. It can dry us up. It can raise the incidence of suicide. It can raise the incidence of depression. And we will give psychiatrists more money for professional fees.
On the other hand, if it is totally and only a culture of compassion, then people will slap one cheek, and then we will have to offer the other, and they will get accustomed to doing that. The culture of compassion is not a culture of passivity. In the end, we will just be all black and blue.
Today, my invitation is to ask God to make us more aggressive for compassion. Look at those words—to be more aggressive, to be more convinced about compassion. I pray that we will take everything to be more compassionate with one another.
The culture of the Lord and the culture of Christianity is never competition. It is compassion. Look at the word “compete” and “complete.” One letter is inserted in the middle, and that is L. L is for LOVE. If we take away L in this world, this world will be a world of competition.
But God came to put love into this world so that we will complete each other and make each other whole. Jesus came so that we could win together because the victory of one need not mean the other’s defeat.
We can win together if we love together.
CULTURE OF COMPETITION
Love Like Jesus