“This I command you: love one another.” – John 15:17
This past semester I’ve been wrestling with the life path I am choosing, wondering if I made a good choice by going to dental school, working towards becoming an oral surgeon. I enjoyed school a lot more when I didn’t place so much stress on myself…
Today’s readings brought me back to the roots of what I am working for, what really means the most to me. It is something that transcends all things, both our strengths and our weaknesses. It is love, and it is so fundamentally human that we cannot ever really separate ourselves from it, no matter what we do in life. Oh, I think we can sometimes forget about it or ignore it, but love’s absence will always leave us hollow, convinced that our restlessness is a personal problem, not a need for others. Love is where I want to start and end each day, acting it, living it, praying it, and believing in the healing power of it.
“Following Jesus is simple, but not easy. Love until it hurts, and then love more.” – Mother Teresa
But not easy…
It’s easy to pull ourselves (our hearts, our minds) away from the suffering of others: neighbors, homeless in our communities, the poor and oppressed in the world, and many more. So much pain is here, making it such that it will never be easy to live intentionally in our world. When we try to engage fully with our world, our communities, we can feel unhappy, as though we are drowning in futility. Yet, being happy is not what love is all about. Love is bound much more tightly to joy, and joy is nurtured when we live for and with others. As Saint Peter so eloquently (and bluntly) puts it, “Get up. I myself am also a human being.” (Acts 10:26).
We must pull each other to our feet, showing that we do care and that we do want to know the people around us. We all matter.
How we go about standing others up, and allowing them to bring us to our feet, is different for all of us. Life and grace will take us there.