Federico Fellini was a great Italian film maker who died in 1992. Many of his films like La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2 are considered by many film critics to be among the greatest films ever made. There is a scene in his classic film La Strada which gives us a lot to consider. In it a clown (symbolic of a Christ figure) is talking to a young woman. She has grown weary of trying to love people who are unlovable and unloving. She wants nothing more to do with them. As the conversation ends and
the young woman turns to leave, the clown says to her, “But if you don’t love those people, who will love them?” That question reminds me of the old saying that goes something like this, “To love the world is no big chore. It’s that miserable person next door who is the problem”. Does the Lord really require us to love those who truly, for one reason or another, don’t deserve our love? Perhaps we need to remember that loving someone and liking someone are not the same thing. The Lord does not call us to like everyone, but to love them. That means that we will help them when they are in need, that we will work for their good, that we will never cause them harm, even when they are undeserving. Christ tells us that it is this kind of love that shows to the world that we are his disciples. To love in this way is indeed a challenge and often difficult. To be able to do it, we need the power of God’s spirit because the clown’s question is addressed to each of us. If we don’t love “those people” in the name of God, who will love them?