Are You Strong Enough to Really Love as Jesus Asks You to Love?
Discussion and Devotional Thought of the Day:
11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. John 15:11-12 (TEV)
749 Your charity must be adapted and tailored to the needs of others… not to yours. (1)
It sounds simple and nice, this idea of loving one another.
I think we romanticize it, not in the sense of erotic love, but in the idea of some kind of peaceful utopia. That all we need is love, and somehow the world will straighten out, the Middle East conflicts will resolve, the kidnapped girls in Nigeria will come home, those who have suffered from hurricanes, earthquakes, and drought will find all they need.
Love, and the relationships, the deep intimate relationships that are created and bound in love are the farthest thing from some restful utopia. Ask any mother who has to care for a newborn, There is a deep level of love, but it isn’t all cooing and cuddling. It’s waking up every 2-3 hours to feed and change them, it is dealing with sickness, even when you are sick, it is learning to discipline and teach, it is sacrifice, it is work.
Intimate relationships between soldiers are no different (again we aren’t talking sexual – but simply things so close they can’t describe the bond between them, the extend they will go for their brothers, the sacrifices they make, without hesitation, without thought of cost. It simply is a bond that goes beyond description, that means more than life itself.
In these two examples, and in so many others, the words of St Josemaria are found to be true. Love isn’t about our needs… its about life lived in community, loving others as much as we love ourselves. Walking in the steps of Jesus, who did this better than us all.
In the book of Romans, I was amazed by how many times the prefix syn/sun shows up, How many times the concept is one where we are joined to each other, and the Holy Spirit is likewise joined to us. It is an incredible journey, not just theologically, but together. We share in our calling, our joys, our sorrows, in prayer, in being gathered in hope, and in prayer. Romans isn’t just about the mission and the question of predestination, it is not just about Justification and gifts and Israel.
It’s about a life lived in relationship – a deep relationship between God and His people. A life that can be messy, and painful, that can be sacrificial to the point of heroic, a life that is full of Love… May God enable us both to desire this, and to do it… with Him
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3118-3119). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on July 25, 2014, in Devotions, The Furrow, Theology in Practice and tagged Abiding in Christ, Beloved, Bonding, devotion, intimacy, joy, love, pain, sacrifice, St. Josemaria Escriva. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.