Lenten Reflections on Love – Week III

Week I          Week II          Week III          Week IV          Week V          Week VI

Photo courtesy of Education for Justice*

Photo courtesy of Education for Justice*

In expanding on Paul’s vision of love that it is not jealous or boastful, Pope Francis points out that love invites us to rise above ourselves, whereas envy closes us down. True love values the other person’s achievements. It does not see him or her as a threat.

Think of how Jesus dealt with the Pharisees. He never boasted about his filial relationship with God to trump their knowledge. When they asked him about curing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, he pointed out that they would save one of their sheep if it fell into a hole on the Sabbath. Wasn’t it then a greater act of love to heal this man, than to adhere to the Sabbath restrictions? (Matthew 12: 9-14)

In discussing how love can be arrogant, Pope Francis notes that literally it means that we do not become “puffed up” before others. Yet what really makes us important, according to Francis and Paul, is a love that understands, shows concern and embraces the weak.

Our challenge this week is to look into our hearts and find if this type of love is taking root. A love that is not arrogant or rude, but kind and gentle can be a tough sell in a city where our worth is often measured in how much power and influence we wield. Yet a love that is gentle and kind is available to all of us when we talk with Jesus about our desire to love as he loved. How can we show a kind and gentle love this week, that challenges indifference to the weak in our city and our world?

-Written by parishioner Roger Sullivan

Next -- Week IV

*Photo Copyright © 1971-2017, Education for Justice, a project of Center of Concern, used with permission. Other uses prohibited. All rights reserved. For more resources like this, visit www.educationforjustice.org