In the readings for Mass today, we have Paul reminding his readers that to love is the greatest calling.
“Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.”
In the gospel there seems to be a contrast. Is Jesus really calling us to hate when he says, “If any man comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, bothers and sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple”?
The link between the two is the Cross. Jesus is asking us to carry our cross and follow him if we want to be his disciple. As one writer says, “Take the cross out of Christianity and what have you got? A pick and choose approach which takes what one likes from religion but rejects what does not appeal. The cross shows us the true meaning of love.
Pope Francis spoke of this in Assisi, “The cross does not speak to us about defeat and failure; it speaks to us of love, the love of God incarnate, a love which does not die, but triumphs over evil and death. When we let the crucified Jesus gaze upon us, we are recreated, we become a ‘new creation.’”
Lord teach me to love.
Show me how to love.
Give me the strength to love.
Banish all fear so that I may always choose your way of love.