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2013-09-29 message

posted Oct 19, 2013, 7:34 PM by St. John's Webmaster   [ updated Oct 19, 2013, 7:34 PM ]

Love bears all things. This can seem like a strange thing to say, but I think the strangeness stems from a rather widespread misunderstanding. This misunderstanding says that if I do not do what another wants me to or approve of everything that person does, then I do not love that person.

I think the easiest way to dispel this myth is to look at the relationship between parents and children. In a family, there are things that are hard to bear (crayoned walls, and temper tantrums, for starters). As a parent, I do not like these things. My own sinfulness may even have me reacting to these situations instead of actually doing my job as a parent to guide them into what they need to learn. That does not mean even for a second that I do not love my children, or, for that matter, that my children do not love me when they misbehave. The parameters of the situation are different in relationships between adults, but the truth that we can love in disagreement and when things are hard to bear remains.

This is one of the potential difficulties of being a Christian. All of us would probably like for life to be simpler, easier, requiring less of us than it does. It would be nice if everyone agreed; if there was a shared set of values across the entire world that would lead to the absence of war, political games, greed, or any of a myriad other evils. In such a world, it might be easy to be a Christian and to bear all things – after all, there wouldn’t be that much to bear. However, love bears all things in this imperfect and sinful world.

This love which bears all things means that regardless of circumstance, we desire the salvation of those whom we love (i.e., everyone), we wish for them to grow in wisdom and holiness, and we pray that we be ready and able to help them on their journey when they need it. May we grow in such love by praying, paying attention to our thoughts and words, and always by the grace of God.

With love in Christ,
+Fr. Peter