EWTN Catholic Q&A
Hate your Father and Mother
Question from Michael Siddle on 11-07-2012:

Hi Father, can you please clarify Jesus words in Luke 14 25 to 33 that we must hate our Father , Mother etc if we are to follow him. My limited research on the greek word for hate used by Luke seems unambiguous. I understand that elsewhere Jesus commands us to love everyone so these words conflict with that. Can you please put some context around his choice of words. Thank you. Michael

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 11-12-2012:

The Hebrew language and convention expressed truths in ways different from modern cultures. In this case, the word hate is used in a comparative manner, that is, one must love God first and above all, even beyond that of mother and father. Considering that we are commanded to love even enemies, it would be unthinkable that we should hate parents. Again, the English equivalent would be the comparative: love God above all, even ones parents. It certainly drives home the point, does it not?

Thanks, Michael

Father Echert