Thursday 18 January 2018

The power of love shows us how the human race is so amazing

Fr. Brian Whelan - The Way I See It

A lot of the items on the news every day are stories that involve hate and malice. There's so many examples of people hating one another, so many stories where 'man's inhumanity to man' is so obvious.

From the Charlie Hebdo saga, to the ongoing conflict with ISIS, to the shooting by the policeman in America last week-so many observable examples of hate litter the airwaves every day. Hate is an observable power and the most awful expression of our humanity. But there's a greater observable power which puts hate in the shade, the observable power of love.

One of the most popular readings at weddings is the passage from St Paul's letter to the Corinthians about love: 'If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there~ are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever. Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.'

It's a beautiful piece and so full of meaning, and it captures so wonderfully the atmosphere of a wedding. I always feel that at weddings, love is all around. It's not just the 'happy couple' who have that aura about them, it's also in the faces of the families and the guests. Like the film Love Actually, it seems to me that love is all around us.

Because like hate, love isn't something we invented, and it too is an observable power.

Unfortunately we find less examples of love as an observable power in the news each day. But if you look for it, it is there. In small things, in big things, in people and places, and in the sacrifices and commitments which go unnoticed in our everyday lives.

I heard the following line in a movie recently, and I think it captures seine if the mystery that love is : 'Maybe it's an artefact of a higher dimension, of something that we can't consciously perceive.' But love is the one thing we are capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions time and space. If you think about it, love does transcend space and time-you can love someone who lives on a different continent, and you can love someone who is no longer around, a deceased family member or friend perhaps.

It may not be very newsworthy or remarkable, but little things are happening all the time that demonstrate the huge power that can be observed if only we look for it. And because of the power of that love, we act in different ways, it changes us, it makes the world an amazing place, and it makes the human race an amazing creation.

As St Paul said, there are three things that last, and the greatest of these is love. Because after all, we're created in the image and likeness of God, and God is love.

Wexford People

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