”My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. ” (1 john 3:18)
Dear Parish Family and Friends,
I am the type of person who needs reminders. I have often talked about my love for sticky notes. I love them because I can leave little reminders in different places in order to make sure that I see them. If] don’t I will certainly forget what I am supposed to do. I mention this because last month the Church gave us reminders of what is coming up. We were reminded that Lent is coming and coming soon. We were reminded that Lent is a time to come home. It is a time to come back to Christ. We have also been reminded of the why and how. The why and how have to do with the same word…love.
Two Sundays before Lent the Church offers, for our prayerful consideration, the parable of the Last Judgment. In it the Lord discusses what the final judgment will look like and the criteria for our judgment. The bottom line is this one word love. Father Thomas Hopko in one of his podcasts once said, “The judgment ultimately is love. Did we love our neighbor, our enemy? Did we love our fellow human beings?” Why is this the case? Because the only way we can show our love for God, the only way we can prove we love what we cannot see, is by loving our neighbor. St. John the Theologian says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” Lent is therefore a reminder. A reminder that we are loved by God. It is a reminder to return to Him and show that we love Him. We do this by reaching out to the other.
My family in Christ, as we enter into another Lenten season, my prayer is that we look to the other. As we fast from foods, as we pray more let us remember to reach out to others as well. As St. John the Theologian said, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth”. A blessed Lent!