We cannot speak and understand true love without sacrifice. Human as we are, we cannot understand this thing because we are afraid to sacrifice and to experience demands for the sake of love. Eventually, we tend to avoid and let ourselves not be bothered by it. But, this is what true love means. True love is not about sugar-coated words, gifts, and romance; it’s all about sacrifice and dying to ourselves. Hence, this is what the gospel for this Sunday presents to us, i.e. authentic love amidst suffering and pain. The death of Christ on the cross does not show and speak to us the horror of His passion and death, rather it gives to us a manifestation and an example of love which does not cease, love as a consolation, and love as a fundamental principle of our sacrifices and pains in life.
Love does not cease to be what it is. Today, postmodernism describes true love as a fad and as a first impression that seems to be ceasing. Commercialization made it as a persuasive brand that incites and attracts people’s urges and excitements, but when it has been “raped” for so many times, their tendency is to get away from it not minding its real essence for one’s life. So, from this scenario it depicts that love is just a mere appearance that immediately loses its importance when it does not anymore provokes the enthusiasm of man. What makes it a bit problematic? It shows that love is just an object of attraction, but not a value. This is not true love in the eyes of Christ. Love is not all about attraction and stimulation; it’s all about valuing its real importance into our lives. Look at the example of Christ; He does the will of the Father by means of offering His life to the cross not for the sake of inciting more followers and showing-off, but for the sake of salvation and love to the people who are suffering from the pangs of sin. For Christ, true love is unconditional. So, love does not cease to be what it is because Christ has proven it through the cross which is construed as a symbol of shame during His time.
Love as a consolation. We should not forget that it is because of the cross that we have been consoled. Without the cross of Christ, we will never to understand what it means to be consoled and to be a consolation for others. The cross of Christ is not all about bragging, but is all about accepting its invitation to be a living ember of love for others. Consolation coming from the cross of Christ is not an object of hiding, but it’s a gift that we need to share for those who are deprived by hate and rejection. By the holy cross of Christ He redeemed the world. Of all the consolations that we received in this life, the greatest consolation of these is that comes from the love of Christ that sanctifies and forgives.
Love as a fundamental principle of our sacrifices and pains in life. Sometimes we asked ourselves; why do we need to experience pain and suffering into our lives? Why do we need to sacrifice for the sake of a greater purpose in life? It is because true love is not cheap. We experience suffering and pain simply because we love. We need to sacrifice for the sake of a greater purpose in life because of love. Love is not a noun to be defined but a verb to be acted upon, and that’s what it means of love as a fundamental principle for all of our sacrifices, sufferings, and pains that we experience in life. We will not be able to understand the fruit of Christ’s resurrection as love unless we welcome into our lives the significance of His passion and death. Let us remember that the sufferings, pains, and sacrifices we experience in life are our participation to Christ’s paschal mystery. Let us not be afraid when we experience sufferings, sacrifices, and pain because it grants us an assurance to understand true love from the bottom of our hearts. In every sacrifices, sufferings, and pains we endured, it manifests that love is not all about exhortations, but it is all about actuation.