Monday, October 27, 2014

Believing in love

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
October 26, 2014

Matthew 22:34-40

The Christian religion is a religious system that's hard to understand for quite a few and, especially, a fabric of laws too complicated to live out correctly before God. Don't we Christians need to focus our attention much more on caring for what's essential in the Christian experience above all?

The gospels have recorded Jesus' response to some Pharisees who asked him what the main commandment of the Law was. This is how Jesus summed up the essential: the first is "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind", the second is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Jesus' statement is clear. Love is everything. What matters in life is loving. That's the foundation of everything. The first thing is to live with God and others in a spirit of love. We are not to get lost in incidental secondary things, forgetting what's essential. Everything else springs from love. Without love, all remains perverted.

When talking about God's love, Jesus isn't thinking about the feelings or emotions that might flow from our hearts, nor is he inviting us to multiply our prayers. To love the Lord our God with all our heart is to acknowledge God as the ultimate Source of our existence, awaken in ourselves a complete adherence to His will, and respond with unconditional faith to His universal love as Father of all. That's why Jesus adds a second commandment. It isn't possible to love God and live with one's back turned to His sons and daughters. A religion that preaches love of God and neglects those who are suffering is a big lie. The only really humane stance before anyone we meet in our journey is to love them and seek their good as we would wish for ourselves.

All this language may seem too old, too tired, and not very effective. However, today too, the main problem in the world is lack of love which is dehumanizing, one after another, the efforts and struggles to build a more humane coexistence.

A few years ago, the French thinker Jean Onimus wrote, "Christianity is still in its beginnings; we've only been working at it two thousand years. The dough is heavy and centuries of maturing will be needed before charity ferments it." We followers of Jesus are not to neglect our responsibility. The world needs living witnesses who help future generations believe in love since the future isn't hopeful for human beings if they lose faith in love.

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