..from Your Pastor’s Desk
“I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you,
so you also should love one another.”
A theme of today’s Mass is Love – a subject that is so easy to write badly about, so hard to write well about. There exists a tendency in all of us to place love (and all the things that challenge us) at a distance. We place them at a distance (1) in time, or (2) in place.
1. It seems we are always willing to postpone good things, someone said, but bad things we do right away. We tend to postpone faith, hope and love: to put them over the horizon and into the future. But fear, greed and anger we attend to at once. Love is one of the good things: the very best, St Paul said (“the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13). And yet we tend to postpone it. How many times have we wished we had told someone we loved them before it was too late – too many. Somewhere deep in us there is the wisdom to know that love is for now or never.
2. And It is easy to love people who are at a safe distance. When I love I make myself vulnerable, and if I am afraid of that – I won’t love. I will dream and sentimentalize instead. “But sure, a body’s bound to be a dreamer / When all the things he loves are far away,” said the words of an old Celtic song whose title and author escape me at the moment. Ah, if only we could do the good things now, and postpone the bad things! What a world it would be if our love were as quick and as warm and as long-lasting as our hate. A wise man said a startling thing to me once: “There’s no future!” I thought he was expressing despair about the country or the modern world…. But he didn’t seem at all a despairing kind of person; quite the contrary. “There’s no future,” he repeated cheerfully. “The future exists only in your head, nowhere else. It is only an idea. So don’t tell me what you’re going to do in the future. Tell me what you’re doing now.”
Hmmm – healthy food for thought. Who am I? What am I? The answer to those two ponderous
questions is actually quite easy: I am what I’m doing now. If I don’t love the people and the things around me now I am not a loving person and I can have nothing to say about love.
We don’t say, “Give us tomorrow our daily bread.” We want real bread, not an idea of bread. Real things are for now. And God, too, is for now. If I don’t love now I know nothing about God. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love,” wrote St John (1 John 4:8).
Love is not a Black Orchid or a Lily of The Valley. It is not an expensive rare-bloom reserved only for the most special of occasions. It is more something ordinary and familiar, like a dandelion – whose seed-bearing parachutes sail on the wind where they will- where God needs them to land. So it is with our love – our love for God and for each other. It is for everyday use, not just for Sundays.
That being said – please do not bring your loved one a bouquet of dandelions for your next anniversary because Father Ron said so!
With much Love,