How will we ever survive the attacks on the family that society seems to be handing out everywhere we turn? How will my family make it through this (financial or relational or medical) crisis? How will our parish ever become a place where we love and serve one another and the community around us – without fail – every day of the week?
I often begin my week pondering what questions are weighing on the hearts of those God has called me to serve. I add to that the burdens of my own heart: my concerns as a disciple and my concerns as a shepherd of souls. By the time I give myself some space to embrace all of that, I often feel weak, sometimes afraid, tired, or overwhelmed. And from that place, I reach out in prayer to God who is always faithful, and I try to spend the rest of my week listening and looking for God.
Love. Love is the answer. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. Love is what we need in our parishes – love is what we need in our families and in our world. Sometimes I’m concerned that we have forgotten what love truly is. Love is not an emotion that makes us feel affection – that is something that can ‘come and go’. Rather, love is a choice, an act of the will, a commitment to will and act for the good of the other from now on.
Friends – what we need now more than ever is love. Authentic love. Can we stop being so distracted by our worries and hurts and concerns that we return to love? Can we respond to our fears or our frustrations with love?
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in truth. Love bares all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Cor 13: 4-8)
How will you love your parish this week? How will you love your family and co-workers this week? How will you love yourself this week?