Loving with Christ’s love PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 14:14

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

This, for sure, is no fantasy, or some exaggerated desire, completely gratuitous or with no basis. This, in fact, is what Christ has commanded us: “Love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 13,34) And I don’t think he would give us that commandment without enabling us to follow it.

For his part, everything is given for us to be able to love as we are commanded. In the first place, Christ is the God made man who shows us the fullness of love which is the very essence of God, just as St. John said, “God is love.” (1 Jn 4,8)

Christ shows us the kind of love that has to contend with our human condition that is wounded and weakened by sin. It is the kind of love that knows how to deal with sin in its many forms and in its consequences.

It’s a love that knows how to forgive, even to the point of assuming our sinfulness, willing to die for us even when we are still in the state of sin and have not yet asked for forgiveness. St. Paul attests to this when he said: “God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us...” (Rom 5,8)

It’s a love that covers even one’s own enemies. “Love your enemies,” Christ said, “and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven who causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Mt 5,44).

In short, it’s a universal love, for he came to save all, as St. Paul again testified: “He desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all...” (1 Tim 2,4-5)

This is the kind of love that we ought to have for one another, as Christ has shown it to us. It’s both easy and hard to do. Easy, because God’s grace will always be available to us, and as we have been saying, we are actually equipped with our spiritual faculties of intelligence and will more than our physical powers to do this.

It’s, of course, also hard, because we really have to contend with our human frailties that will always be with us, not to mention, the effects of sin that make us proud, arrogant and resistant to the impulses of grace.

We need to broaden our understanding of love, and to vitally link it with the love of God that is always made available through the Holy Spirit and the many instrumentalities in the Church.

We have to be wary of limiting our love to sentimentalism, or to make it address only the material and natural needs of others.

We have to go beyond that level, and enter into the level of the spiritual and the supernatural, for that is where the true and ultimate good is for us.

In short, we have to bring Christ to others. But to do that, we need to have Christ ourselves. In fact, we need to be another Christ, “alter Christus,” because only then can we bring and give Christ to others, and fulfil the Christ’s new commandment to love as he himself has loved us.

This would definitely require all-out and constant effort. Our weaknesses are many, and sometimes latent, hidden and unknown.

Temptations abound. Spiritual and moral traps and snares practically make a minefield of our life.

But as long as we pray, are humble enough to acknowledge our weakness and act on the temptations and the sins that we may commit, are sincere in our contrition and generous in our atonement and reparation, we should not fear about being unable to love as Christ loves us.

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 October 2015 15:28