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2013-10-20 message

posted Oct 19, 2013, 7:37 PM by St. John's Webmaster   [ updated Oct 19, 2013, 7:37 PM ]

At His crucifixion, our Lord asked that the Father forgive his crucifiers. At that moment, the God who is love showed in practical terms the truth of St. Paul’s affirmation that love endures all things. Before that point, Jesus had endured derision and mockery, whipping, the crown of thorns, and the carrying of the cross. None of those conquered love, just as the crucifixion itself could not. So, in ultimate terms, in the relationship between God and us, love endures all things. To put this in a way that we have probably heard, God loves us just as we are – no matter what we may have done. Of course, as Orthodox, our relationship with God does not stop there and we would say that precisely because God loves us, He wants us not to remain as we are, but to continually grow in His likeness. Right now, however, it is important to remember that God’s love bears whatever we may do in our lives.

Having said that God’s love endures all things, I think we can also say that we know of examples of human love that endured in a similar way. Whether it is the marriage that has endured for sixty years, the parents that have cared for a child with a severe illness, or the friends that have stood by through trials and difficulties, we all can probably recall having encountered this type of enduring love. As Christians, we are called to show that kind of love towards everyone. We know it can be difficult; we know that it is possible that it will go unappreciated it. We also know that Christ told His disciples to love one another as He loved them, with a love that was unconquered and undiminished by anything.

May God grant us the grace, strength, and perseverance to always grow in love for Him and one another.

With love in Christ,
+Fr. Peter