What has love got to do with it…
Working with people who lived in poverty was for me a salutary reminder of both the fragility of life and the true value of friendship and community. Out of adversity, true empathy, understanding, tolerance, patience, friendship finds a deeper and truer virtue. A love that brings inexplicable joy in the relational. Friend to friend, person to community, lover to lover. To know something of the deeper inner feelings of the dispossessed when we take the sincere risk to lay ourselves open to receive uncomfortable truths, the deep love that comes when nothing more than self can be offered, without material gestures, social connections, or anything to gain other than the presence of another.
Never arrogant or rude
Never envious or boastful
We think these days, that these are qualities that we can hope for, receive, find in another, the terms of a successful relationship, or a virtuous self. However more than these, they are qualities which everyone possesses, and qualities which we are invited to live, always, everywhere, in company, relationship and alone.
In our darkest hours, we desire them, in our greatest confidence we forget them, in our humility, they are our companions, in our silence, they are our wisdom, in our speaking, they are our voice, in our doing, they are our action.
Faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.
Unconditionally, unjudgingly we try to be the very best we can be, and to be that, we surrender self to become that which dwells not just for self, but in the lives of others, in community, discovering the richness we find in poverty and the true value of relationship with others, their walk of life, experiences, darkness, light, word, truth, and ours, ready to receive and offer that gift that God gives to us….that God loved the world so much, that he gave us his only son, so that whoever believes in him, may not die, but have eternal life.
Every step, every turn, every encounter along the way, invites us to respond in love and with that, truth, so that we may be set free, to live and to love in the joy of all creation and life itself.
When I asked the question of an indigenous woman who had been mistreated in a church run institution, why she was a person of faith, her answer was brutally clear. The church is compromised by itself, but I love God and the Jesus God gave me.
Turn again to Jesus, and learn from him. Without love, we are noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.
Peace be to you and your homes in anticipation of our gathering again.
Blessings and love.