The Second Reading today is well-known to believers and non-believers alike. Heard at many a wedding, Paul’s description of love can spill out of our own lips while we listen. We are told to strive for the greater gifts, the greatest of all being love. Love is a word some of us never fully understand, especially when adjectives such as patient, kind, rejoicing, bearing, believing, hoping, enduring, and never-ending are used. Hollywood has destroyed our understanding of love. We want it to be something that sparkles and shines but in reality, we need it to be a light that causes us to sparkle and set the world on fire.
We can see through the eyes of a child and not with the eyes of a sage. We know dimly what we catch a glimpse of in relationships that stirs something deep within. We know only in part and one day we will know fully. Love is capable of so much more than we can ever imagine. I have over the years seen couples survive all sorts of atrocities because they understood that love might be tested in fire. I have witnessed friendships survive because hearts and heads make decisions against logic and feelings. I have been blessed by seeing strangers do kind and beautiful deeds that originate from a Divine place within. Love calls for so much more than is humanly possible. The Sacred must be intertwined with this thing called Love in order to keep breathing Life into it.
The Gospel has a reaction from the crowd at the synagogue that is far from loving. They are amazed at the gracious words flowing from the mouth of Jesus and then cannot believe that it is the son of Joseph delivering them. Jesus has some harsh words for them and they turn on him, intent to throw him off a cliff. What could have been a relationship of Love turns into anger from the people. Jesus though walks away in peace and love from the edge of the cliff. Often, at the precipice is where relationships can fall apart. Jesus however chooses to go on his way quietly. I suspect he went to pray quietly somewhere for the ones who were ready to destroy him. He responds with Love. He keeps heading towards the Cross, which is the act that fulfills the Scripture he read.
We have choices when we stand on the brow of the hill. We can be hurled off, we can jump off on our own accord, we can push someone else over instead, or we can walk away and stay true to our mission, our story that must unfold as it should. We can respond in anger or we can dig deep into the grace of Love. We always have a choice.
What is the most profound act of Love you have witnessed?
What has been your decision when you have been at the brow of the cliff?
God of Love, God who is Love, God who loves…
When we stand at the brow of the cliff, let us act with the grace of Love. May we receive the greatest gift with gratitude. Keep our eyes on you and help us comprehend the meaning of our life in more than just that moment. Guide us on the path that you lay out before us and help us to remain true to our mission in this world without distraction.