This is what you call 'real love'
Sunday’s Second Reading (Ephesians 4:30-5:2):
‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal for you to be set free when the day comes. Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness. Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.
Try, then, to imitate God as children of his that he loves and follow Christ loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God.’
Ever think that to be a Christian in today’s world is hard? Are you often accused of living in the past and being intolerant of the views of others? Do people suggest that the Christian message is one of a harsh God who wreaks havoc on anyone who doesn’t believe in Him?
If this is your experience then perhaps this short passage from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is the most appropriate response to these accusations. The Christian way is to ‘never have grudges against others’. The Christian way is to never ‘lose your temper’ or ‘raise your voice to anybody’. The Christian way is to never ‘call each other names or allow any sort of spitefulness’. The Christian way is to ‘be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ’.
The Christian way is to love. And if ever there was an example of how great this love is and how we as Christians are expected to love, just look to the battered, bruised, bloodied, sacrificial body of Jesus Christ on the Cross. That, brothers and sisters, is Christian love.
In a world where life has increasingly little value (consider abortion, euthanasia, and the devastating havoc wrought by ISIS), people are crying out for the Christian message of love. It is our message of love that can bring peace to the world. Don't be fooled into thinking that we can achieve peace without Christ. We can't. Christ is our only hope.
Let us never be afraid to spread the Christian message of love to the four corners of the world, and let us continue to pray hard that the hearts of all people will be touched by the love of Christ. Only love, the Christian way, will bring true peace.