One Sunday morning, a young man visited the church, kneel down, and prayed; “O Lord I Iove you with all of my heart, with all of my soul, and with all of my strength, how will I able to express my love for you so that I may always be remain in love with you?” Suddenly, the Lord answered Him; “If you really love me, go outside of this church and somebody is waiting for you.” Immediately, the young went outside the church. It seems no one is waiting for Him. He waited for an hour outside the church until an old and tired man approached him and said, “Young man please give me some alms for food. I have not yet eaten my lunch and I am so hungry now. Please, have mercy on me give me some alms.” The young man furiously said to the old and tired man, “Get out of my face old man! It’s better for you to suffer that consequence because of your laziness and stubbornness. Huh! Damn bastard! Get out or else I will kick your ass!” All of a sudden, the Lord appeared to Him in the person of the old and tired man, “Taddaah! O you see! Now I know how much do you really love me and care for me much. Eureka!” The young man greatly shocked and surprised on what he saw, and he immediately run for he thought he saw a ghost.
The gospel last Sunday teaches us the significance of the commandment of love. In the gospel, Love is understood in two aspects, i.e. love of God and love of neighbor. Actually, when we reflect the gospel for today, the two aspects are really complementing to each other. It’s a fact of life that we cannot love God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and with all of our strength if we will not love our neighbors and show our sympathy and compassion for them. Yes, it’s really hard to love our neighbors especially when they tend to gossip us, put us down, harm us, and take advantage our kindness and consideration. But, it’s the only way in order that we may be able to love the Lord sincerely. It is this love that will make possible in us to response wholeheartedly the love that showed to us by God. When we enter into a relationship with God, it’s really consequential. We need really to love our neighbors despite the fact that they are not really pleasing sometimes. It’s a risk, yet fulfilling because it also radiates to others. Once we show love and compassion to our neighbors it bounces back to us and it also inspires others to do the same. Hence, love of God and love of neighbor cannot be separated. It’s what the golden rule says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you”. It may also mean likewise: “Love God as you would have God love you.” As we are striving for holiness, let us be reminder about these words which somehow related to the gospel and also a beautiful invitation for all of us; “Choose to be brave, called to be Saints, and sent forth as Heroes”. Indeed, to be a Saint means to be a Hero of Faith, Hope, and Love.