Love & Friendship
As we reflect on Christian love and friendship, we have to address our own respective sense of love and friendship within our own church. We cannot really speak about love and friendship with others outside of our community if we don’t appreciate and exercise our own commitment to friendship and love among ourselves as members of our respective communities. In turn, we can only speak about such commitment to love and friendship in our community when we live the love and friendship that should characterize our personal relationships in our respective families.
With the lack of this sense of love and acceptance, some people have decided to fashion a life of aloneness and loneliness to escape the hurtful experiences in community and companionship. In a way, we have learned to avoid relationships in order or avoid being hurt. We avoid reaching out. We avoid getting involved in the activities and programs because we want to be left to ourselves. But as Christians, we have to reach out. Spreading the Good News is possible through our personal interaction with people. Like the original apostles who were chosen by Christ in our gospel today, we are sent to proclaim the Good News of peace, love and unity to all peoples, starting with our own families and communities. It is ironic that the major conflicts in our world today are related to religion. Religion, which teaches that we have to love one another, has become the cause of division and violence. Marriage and family, which most religions consider sacred, have become the venue for unspeakable physical, psychological and sexual abuse. Churches, which act as the guardian of sexual ethics, have become in recent years the respondent for sexual abuse crimes.
Our social nature has been given perfection and enhancement through the unifying love and grace of our Savior Jesus Christ. Community has been given a divine dimension by the Word becoming human in Jesus Christ. Every human effort to relate with others has become an experience of the sacred.
Love, based on mere human efforts, is an illusion. Love has to be referred to Someone beyond ourselves. We love as Christ love us. The transforming power of Christian love is what can make our life in community bearable and even beautiful.