Christian Love

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The WORD in other words by Fr Dindo Santiago SVD – Japan

Tuesday 11th Week in Ordinary Time

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

No, not just for some, but for everyone.

You must have sung or heard these lines from a popular song originally released in 1965. In a world full of hatred and conflict, of loneliness and indifference, of division and hardship, love is all we need.

Today, we are reminded that we must love not merely those who love us, that our love must transcend feelings or affinity, such that we are taught to love even our enemies and persecutors. How could we possibly love and pray for someone who has caused us pain, suffering, or even humiliation? It must indeed be difficult, but certainly not impossible. It is because God has shown us what it means to truly love.

Despite our weakness, our unfaithfulness, our sinfulness, God continues to love us. Therefore, we realize that it is not just by our own efforts but by his grace that, as children of our heavenly Father, we too can truly love as he does.

We often hear people say, “Nobody’s perfect!” And that’s perfectly true. But the Gospel today tells us, “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Before we say that this is impossible, let us think again and pray! We can always move one step closer to perfection in our love for neighbors.

Christian love is not content with the usual standards of society. It means striving to love beyond norms, beyond what others are doing, or even beyond what we think we can do. It is transcending our limits in our capacity to love, full of mercy and compassion like the Father through the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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