Common Grounds

The Evangelical Pope | "Love Your Enemies!"

February 19, 2024

Living Words from John Paul II

Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen


Published Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Evangelical Pope |

Each week we let Saint Pope John Paul II share meaningful signposts to spark socio-economic resolves through justice and righteousness combined with mercy and compassion; in short, love


                27-30 "To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the supple moves of prayer for that person. If someone slaps you in the face, stand there and take it. If someone grabs your shirt, gift-wrap your best coat and make a present of it. If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more payback. Live generously.


               31-34 "Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.


               35-36 "I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind (Luke 6: 27-36 Message Translation MSG).


New York, 2 October 1979 | Saint Pope John Paul II says: "Permit me, in this context, to recall a phrase of the Gospel, a word that we must remember even when its consequences are complicated for us to accept.


It is the phrase that Christ pronounced in the Sermon on the Mount:


                "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you" (Luke 6: 27-36 Message Translation MSG).


I have before my mind the painful events that have been taking place in Northern Ireland for over ten years. I am sure that all young people live these events very profoundly and very painfully, for they are tracing deep furrows in your young hearts.


These events, painful as they are, must also be an incitement to reflection. They demand that you form an interior judgment of conscience to determine where you, as young Christians, stand on the matter. 


               Jesus' command, "Love your enemies," does not mean that we should love for our native Land less than another.


               It does not mean that we can remain indifferent before injustice in its various temporal and historical aspects.


               These words of Jesus take away only hate.


I beg you to reflect deeply :


               What would human life be if Jesus had never spoken such words?


               What would the world be if in our mutual relations we were to give precedence to hatred among people, between classes, between nations?


               What would the future of humanity be if we were to base on this hatred the fate of individuals and nations? 


The future of all peoples and nations, humanity itself, depends on whether the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, the message of the Gospel will be listened to once again. 


May the Lord Jesus be always with you! His truth makes you free (John 8: 32 MSG).


Young people of Ireland, I love you! Young people of Ireland, I bless you! I bless you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." 


Excerpted from:


Apostolic Journey  To Ireland, Holy Mass For The Youth Of Ireland, Homily Of His Holiness John Paul II, Galway Sunday, 30 September 1979.




Collision Course Against Their Judaic Conscience


Revealed as a dark side of Judaism, Modern -Zionism (referred to in my book as 'Pagan-Zionism') rules and dominates the Israeli zeitgeist, beguiling and chaining many Jews into believing in something they are not. This aberration ruptures civility in Israel-Palestine. Pagan-Zionism has split many Jewish families apart. Worse, Pagan-Zionists, dare in the glare of world television, torment and inter the indigenous Palestinians into concentrated encampments to live a hell on earth.


Without the Israeli - Palestinian Conflict, an internal Israeli conflict would inevitably unglue their social fabric now fragilely held intact by the fearmongering against a common enemy. Peace could bust the socio-cultural seams between the secular-nationalists, the religious-nationalists, the Orthodox, and the Ultra-Orthodox; between the Ashkenazim, the Mizrahi Middle Eastern or Oriental Jews, and the Sephardic communities; between the recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia; pitting the Pagan-Zionists (hell on earth) against the Biblical-Zionists (heaven on earth); and could further alienate the Israeli-Arab citizens (21%), whose separation from the rest is increasing. Socially, Israel is unstable. It is even worse economically. In Israel, the disparity between rich and poor, so underreported, is reprehensible.


According to world public opinion, Zionist leaders from David Ben-Gurion to Binyamin Netanyahu have taken many wrong turns in their territorial obsessions – their rage and blind ambitions – to expand their lebensraum. Instead of triumphing in peaceful harmony, they have capitulated to criminal misconduct – steal, kill, and destroy (John 10: 10) –, perpetrating heinous crimes against humanity, colliding against their Judaic conscience.


Zionism, meant to be the light in the world, has become a prayer without end. Is Pagan-Zionism sustainable: create an exclusive community or Kampf, a state for Jews-only; by deploying brute force without considering the consequences of the other; by unconscionably dispossessing and displacing 'them' from the Land with no hope to ever return with neither compromise, concession, or conciliation; them or us; the end justifies the means? This perversion and aberration, this depraved, distorted, and deviant ideology, can never have a happy ending. Ask Nazi Germany!


van Kempen, Abraham A. Christian Zionism ... Enraptured Around a Golden Calf - 2nd Edition: Evangelicals Rediscovering New Testament Revelations (pp. 19-20). Fast Pencil Publishing. Kindle Edition.




John Paul II continues: "Last June, I visited the extermination camp of Oświęcim (Auschwitz).


The memory should be a warning sign on the path of humanity today. I would be untrue to the history of this century, and I would be dishonest concerning the great cause of man, which we all wish to serve if I should keep silent. I come from Poland, the country on whose living body Oświęcim was at one time constructed. But my purpose in evoking this memory is to show what painful experiences and sufferings by millions of people gave rise to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which has been placed as the primary inspiration and cornerstone of the United Nations.


               It is my fervent hope that a solution to the Middle East crises may draw nearer.


               While being prepared to recognize the value of any concrete step or attempt made to settle the conflict, I want to recall that it would have no value if it did not truly represent the "first stone" of general overall peace in the area, a peace that, being necessarily based on equitable recognition of the rights of all, cannot fail to include the consideration and just settlement of the indigenous Palestinians.


               Here, too, the human dimension of peace tends to vanish in favor of ever new possible forms of imperialism


Permit me to enumerate some of the most fundamental human rights that are universally recognized :


  1. The right to life, liberty, and security of a person.
  2. The right to food, clothing, housing, sufficient health care, rest, and leisure.
  3. The right to freedom of expression, education, and culture.
  4. The right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, and the right to manifest one's religion either individually or in community, in public or in private.
  5. The right to choose a state of life, find a family, and enjoy all conditions necessary for family life; the right to property and work; adequate working conditions and a just wage; the right of assembly and association.
  6. The right to freedom of movement, to internal and external migration.
  7. The right to nationality and residence.
  8. The right to political participation and the right to participate in the free choice of the political system to which one belongs.


All these human rights taken together are in keeping with the substance of the dignity of the human being, understood in his entirety, not as reduced to one dimension only. These rights concern the satisfaction of man's essential needs, the exercise of his freedoms, and his relationship with others, but always and everywhere they concern man, they concern man's whole human dimension.


Only safeguarding this natural completeness of rights for every human being without discrimination can ensure peace at its very roots. And so, what better wish can I express for every nation and the whole of humankind, and for all the children of the world than a better future in which respect for human rights will become a complete reality throughout the third millennium, which is drawing near.


At the close of this address, I wish to express once more before all the high representatives of the States present a word of esteem and deep love for all the peoples, all the nations of the earth, for all human communities. Each one has its history and culture. I hope that they will live and grow in the freedom and truth of their history. For that is the measure of the common good of each one of them. I hope that each person will live and grow strong with the moral force of the community that forms its members as citizens.


I hope that the State authorities while respecting the just rights of each citizen, will enjoy the confidence of all for the common good. I hope that all the nations, even the smallest, even those that do not yet enjoy full sovereignty, and those that have been forcibly robbed of it, will meet in full equality with the others in the United Nations Organization. I hope that the United Nations will ever remain the supreme forum of peace and justice, the authentic seat of freedom of peoples and individuals in their longing for a better future."


Excerpted from:


Apostolic Journey To The United States Of America, Address Of His Holiness John Paul II To The 34th General Assembly Of The United Nations, New York, Tuesday, 2 October 1979.




A Catalytic Thrust Toward Trust!


Israelis cannot love Israel enough unless they also love Palestine, all of Palestine, and I'm not referring to merely the granules of sand sculpturing the Land; and the same is valid on the other side. Palestinians cannot love Palestine enough unless they recognize Israel's divine-inspired and inherent goodness, despite some rotten apples spoiling the bunch, a minority tyrannizing the majority. And all the sand in Israel and all the sand in Palestine are ONE. So, permit others to call the Land by the name of their conscience.


Zion is Heaven on Earth. Zionism Means 'Return to God' NOT Return to the Land


For millennia, many have called the Region Palestine. Just as many have called the same region, Israel. And Israel is often referred to as Zion. However, Spiritual Zion, the City of God, the heart of human consciousness, stands central.


Geographical Zion, the City of David, has always meant to be a place where people have been called to become the Light Among Nations. But historically and hysterically, many people of Zion have failed God and fall prey, dancing around Golden Calves.


The geographical Zion of history foreshadows the heavenly Zion, the Kingdom of God on earth as in heaven.


The Kingdom of God is the Promised Land for EVERYONE; a land without borders for EVERYONE; for ALL the descendants of the biblical Abraham, the "Father of a Multitude of Nations," not just of one tribe (Genesis 17: 1-6, 20; Matthew 21: 43; 25: 32; Romans 11: 17; Galatians 3: 29; 6: 14-16 New International Version NIV).


The heavenly Zion, not an earthly Zion, brings peace and salvation. Faith in Christ (God in the flesh) is universally directed. It is inclusive for all peoples. It is never meant to be a specific geographical place nor for a particular tribe.


van Kempen, Abraham A. Christian Zionism ... Enraptured Around a Golden Calf - 2nd Edition: Evangelicals Rediscovering New Testament Revelations (p. 13-14). Fast Pencil Publishing. Kindle Edition.




Saint Pope John Paul II: "From bitter experience, we know that the fear of "difference," especially when it expresses itself in a narrow and exclusive nationalism that denies any rights to "the other," can lead to a true nightmare of violence and terror.


And yet, if we make an effort to look at matters objectively, we can see that transcending all the differences which distinguish individuals and peoples, there is a fundamental commonality. For different cultures are but different ways of facing the question of the meaning of personal existence.


And it is precisely here that we find one source of respect due to every culture and every nation. Every culture is an effort to ponder the mystery of the world and, in particular, the human person. It gives expression to the transcendent dimension of human life. The heart of every culture is its approach to the greatest of all mysteries: the mystery of God.



In the light of what has been said, we understand how utilitarianism, the doctrine which defines morality not in terms of what is good but of what is advantageous, threatens the freedom of individuals and nations and obstructs the building of an authentic culture of liberty. Utilitarianism often has devastating political consequences because it inspires an aggressive nationalism based on which the subjugation, for example, of a smaller or weaker nation is claimed to be a good thing solely because it corresponds to the national interest. No less grave are the results of economic utilitarianism, which drives more powerful countries to manipulate and exploit weaker ones.


For the emerging countries, the achievement of political independence has too frequently been accompanied by a situation of de facto economic dependence on other countries. Indeed, in some cases, the developing world has suffered a regression. Some countries lack the means of satisfying the essential needs of their people. Such situations offend the conscience of humanity and pose a formidable moral challenge to the human family.


Meeting this challenge will require changes in both developing and developed countries. The world must replace unjust, corrupt, or authoritarian forms of government with participatory and democratic ones. This is how we will unleash the best civil and economic energies of their people. And must not the developed countries, for their part, come to renounce strictly utilitarian approaches and create new systems inspired by greater justice and solidarity?


Yes, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen! The international economic scene needs an ethic of solidarity if participation, economic growth, and a just distribution of goods characterize the future of humanity.


Excerpted from:


Apostolic Journey Of His Holiness John Paul II to The United States of America, The Fiftieth General Assembly of The United Nations Organization, Address of His Holiness John Paul II,  United Nations Headquarters (New York), Thursday, 5 October 1995,


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