“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
– Matthew 22:36-40
For me it’s all about love.
Love. Love. Love.
Many have heard me say over and over again that if we could just figure out how to actually love God and therefore love our neighbours as ourselves, we’d not be in the societal mess we’re in right now. But alas, because of a lack of love people keep slipping through the communal cracks everywhere and ending up in shelters, jails, hospitals, and any number of other places that aren’t ‘home’ for them.
Yet, I still believe that love is the ultimate solution to all of our social problems.
Not that we can walk into one of our drop-ins and yell out, “Hey everyone, I just want you all to know that you are loved. Now you can all leave and go home.”
It’s not that simple.
I wish it were.
But sadly, it has to be much more than that.
When someone gets to the point of thinking they are not loved, not even worthy of love, there is much work to do in order to change that mindset.
And that work has to be done with LOVE at the core of every word, gesture, and program we can offer. That’s not always easy given the sheer volume of people and needs that we encounter every day.
Love is hard work.
As many of us celebrate the love we have for our partners and/or loved ones on Valentine’s Day, we yet again ask ourselves how we can show love to the people all around us, no matter where we find ourselves. That love has to start with ourselves. It’s hard to love someone else when we don’t love ourself first. So being intentional about self-care is so very crucial.
During February, when we focus on love and self-care, let’s try and think about how we go about loving ourselves and others as we continue to strive to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’.
Change me into one who remembers every day who I really am-
A living, breathing conduit for love.
May I wake up to who I actually am:
All I encounter.
May I be carried by divine grace
In every moment.
May I know my true nature
As a loving person in every way.
(Adapted from here)