By Christopher Lenart, a parishioner at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish, Naperville, who is posting once a month, every month, on this blog, writing about faith-related matters
Two Sundays ago, the readings were on love. Jesus said to love one another as I love you. What did He mean by this? Sometimes we remember the first part but not the second half. It is easy sometimes when things are going good, but when things are going bad, people often run away.
Does Jesus run away from us if we are not doing well? No, He doesn’t. He loves us unconditionally. What does that mean? What I think is that He never stops loving us. He wants us to do the same to one another. This seems easy to do. If it was easy, then why do we have killings every day? Why are the courts filled with people who want a divorce or are fighting over money? Is this love? Sadly, it is not. It is getting worse than getting better.
One reason that it is getting worse is that God is not at the center of our lives. Last week I was watching a TV show, and they were trying to save a friend’s life. One of the doctors said let’s pray for their friend, because she would want them to pray for her. I thought, “Wow ,they prayed because she would want them to — not because they wanted to.” We have taken God out of everything. So, “love one another as I love you” is not being heard and is not being practiced.
I have Cerebral Palsy and am nonverbal, so I need help with my daily activities. I have been looking for help for some time now. I am seeing something that really scares me, and that is people want to be paid what they want. I have a few people who worked in a hospital and also did private care and still wanted $20+ an hour. Most people with disabilities can’t pay that kind of money. I understand people do need money to live on, but you have to trust that God will provide for you. Just as a person with a disability needs the help..
Saint Teresa of Calcutta never asked people to pay her to take care of them. She loved everyone no matter how sick they were or what religion they believed in. She loved everyone unconditionally like Jesus said. By doing what she did, she helped the world. Her order keeps growing around the world and continues to help people.
We have examples of loving unconditionally like Jesus said, but we hardly ever see it on the news. So how can we change this? One way is by showing our love to others. If somebody hurts us, we have to forgive them. Gangs are fighting other gangs but do they know what they are fighting for? I seriously doubt it, and their leaders tell them to hate the other gang. They had been brainwashed to hate. This is so sad because this is not what God wants for us.
Love has to start in the home with a mom and a dad. It has to grow through the years, and the parents have to prepare their kids how to be a man or a woman. If that is not happening, then we are not improving this society. If you are saying that this is wishful thinking, it might be, but if we truly pray for this change, it will happen. When the family prays together, they stay together. This was what my mom said, and I actually see a difference, when I know my friends who are following this saying and those who don’t. This is really clear, but the media doesn’t want to talk about it because they don’t feel it is necessary. This is sad.
As I wrap up here, do one thing today and tell your loved ones that you love them and make it a daily routine. If you have kids, and they see this change in you, they will follow in your footsteps and start saying “I love you.” These words are the most powerful words in our language, so use them.