By Fr. Robert-Christopher, OSH
It is the central theme in today’s second reading from Saint Paul to the Romans. It is a message that many have lost over the years. I see an increasingly disturbing trend toward this message that God hates this or God hates that. We seem to have lost sight of the fact that “these three things remain; faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.”
Love has also been recast in our Hollywood centered world. Too often love is equated with sex or at very least lust. Love is shown as a touchy feely type of emotion. But in reality love is far greater, far deeper than a simple emotion. Love is a way of being. When you are in love, love permeates all of your existence. You cannot do anything without love.
And just because the emotional tingle of love is gone does not mean that love itself is dead. I know married couples who are visibly in love with each other that would tell you that the emotional tingle left years ago. But you could not cut these people apart. They have discovered true love. Love that endures. Love that is patient. Love that is kind. Love that is trusting and hopeful.
That is the kind of love Saint Paul was talking about this morning. It is not touchy feely. It is solid and substantial. Saint Paul says to the Romans that “love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10b)
It is that kind of substantial love that we should show to those around us daily. It is the love of Christ. It is a love that will endure beyond this age and beyond our own existence. It is a love that can change lives; one life at a time.
How can we show people that kind of love? Open the door for a perfect stranger. Offer to help someone with that heavy box or grocery bag. Be willing to listen to that person who just needs to talk. Just be there to love someone with your presence.
That is true love. That is the love of Christ.
Fr. Robert-Christopher, OSH