And the more we love each other, the more we should give of ourselves to one another until it hurts. We cannot say, ‘I love God, but I don’t love my neighbor’. St John tells us that he who says he loves God but not his neighbor, is a liar. How can you love God who you do not see, if you don’t love the neighbour who you do see- the neighbour you know and live with every day?
It is very important to understand that love has to hurt to be true. It hurt Jesus to love us. It truly hurt him. And to insure that we would be reminded of his great love, he made himself the Bread of Life to satisfy our hunger for his love. We hunger for God because we have been created to love. We have been created in his image and likeness. We have been created to love and to be loved. For that reason, he became man to make it possible for us to love as he has loved us.
Jesus became the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the sick, the imprisoned, the forsaken, and the unwanted in our midst. And he says, ‘And you did it unto me’. They are hungry for our love. That is the hunger of our poor. That is the hunger that you and I must meet, because it may even exist in our own homes.
See, here is where love finds its place. Poverty comes into our homes to give us the chance to love.
- One Heart Full of Love, Blessed Mother Teresa(26 August 1910 – 5 September 1997)
Sculpture of St John Chrysostom, St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York [Wikipedia]
Do you want to honour Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honor him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: This is my body, and made it so by his words, also said: You saw me hungry and did not feed me, and inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did not do it for me. What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; what we do outside requires great dedication.
- From homily on St Matthew, St John Chrysostom (c.347 – 407; feast day 13 September)
Pope Francis in Korea [Wikipedia]
This afternoon I would like to reflect with you on part of the theme of this Sixth Asian Youth Day: ‘The Glory of the Martyrs Shines on You’. Just as the Lord made his glory shine forth in the heroic witness of the martyrs, so too he wants to make his glory shine in your lives, and through you, to light up the life of this vast continent. Today Christ is knocking at the door of your heart, of my heart. He calls you and me to rise, to be wide awake and alert, and to see the things in life that really matter. What is more, he is asking you and me to go out on the highways and byways of this world, knocking on the doors of other people’s hearts, inviting them to welcome him into their lives.
This great gathering of Asian young people also allows us to see something of what the Church herself is meant to be in God’s eternal plan. Together with young people everywhere, you want to help build a world where we all live together in peace and friendship, overcoming barriers, healing divisions, rejecting violence and prejudice. And this is exactly what God wants for us. The Church is meant to be a seed of unity for the whole human family. In Christ, all nations and peoples are called to a unity which does not destroy diversity but acknowledges, reconciles and enriches it.
- Address of Pope Francis to the AYD2014 delegates, Shrine of Solmoe, Korea, 15 August 2014.
The Beatitudes, L’Arche, Bognor Regis, England