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2013-08-25 message

posted Aug 24, 2013, 7:42 PM by St. John's Webmaster   [ updated Aug 24, 2013, 7:42 PM ]

Love is not proud/puffed up. We finished last week by saying that the ultimate model for love is God, especially as He revealed Himself to us in the person of the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. It is not by accident that He tells His disciples, "learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart" (Matt. 11:29). The fullness of love is tied to this lowliness of heart, this humility that Christ showed throughout His life and ministry.

It is this lowliness of heart that allows us to make space for others in our lives, to allow them their freedom, to rejoice in others' successes and sorrow at their failures. It is this humility that teaches us that the world does not revolve around us, that the needs of others come before our wants and, at times, even before our own needs.

Looking at this from a different perspective, Christ says that "whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Matt. 23:12). Who is he who humbles himself? He who remembers his own sins and does not compare himself with others. He who, without making a show of things, feeds the hungry, clothes the poor, visits the sick and imprisoned – in other words, who turns love from word to action. And how will such a one be exalted? By reaching the heights of knowledge of God and His love. By experiencing His presence in this world, and by rejoicing eternally in His light in the world to come. May God grant this to all of us.

With love in Christ,
+Fr. Peter