Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
(Acts 15:22-31; John 15:12-17)
An old song said, “Love makes the world go round.” A high school teacher challenged this idea. He told his students that love does not make the world go round. Rather, he said, money does. He was referring to the idea that money motivates most people to work which, in a way, sets the world in motion. An astrophysicist would give another answer. She would claim that the earth spins on its axis because of the way it was formed. The swirling gases and dust from which the earth was formed started the rotation which has never ceased.
With today’s gospel in mind we might ask ourselves, what does love do then after all? Love puts us in harmony with God. Since God’s very being is love, we share God’s life when we love others. There is the difficulty of how to identify true love. St. Augustine can help us here. He once preached, “What does love look like? It has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men and women. That is what love looks like.”
As we all know, it is easy to talk about love but quite another thing to live. The novelist Dostoyevsky wrote that love in action is “a harsh and dreadful thing.” It requires sacrifices that we would be loath to make except for the good of the beloved. For God, the greatest good, we should be ready to make great sacrifices.