(Prayer offered on the Public Address system for the entire La Salle Academy educational community on Wednesday, 14 February 2018)
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of a loving God.
Love. What is love? The radio tells me that love is a warm and fuzzy feeling that someone gets when they see an attractive person on the other side of a crowded room. But that’s not love. Love hurts too much to be that.
That’s right … Love hurts. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re doing it wrong. Love isn’t a warm and fuzzy feeling we get when someone sends us flowers or a card or takes us out to dinner. Those things feel too good to be love. Love hurts.
The greatest example of love that has ever existed is Jesus dying on the cross for us. Take a quick look at the crucifix in your classroom or office. Does that look like it felt good? Of course not! Love hurts.
The word compassion literally translates in Latin to “I suffer with.” True love means entering into the lives of others and walking with them – through their joys and their sufferings. Whether that means listening for hours to our brother who is struggling with addiction even though it means we’re going to miss the big game. Or opening up our home to our sister who doesn’t know how she’s going to support her unborn child. Or even sharing our table with a stranger who has no roof over his head or food in his stomach.
We’re probably not called to suffer on a cross. Thankfully, those days are pretty much over. But we are called to love … to love until it hurts, oftentimes in the most inconvenient ways.
Today, we Christians begin our forty-day retreat of Lent. My challenge to you is this – instead of giving up sweets again, why don’t you reflect on whatever is standing in the way of you loving until it hurts… loving especially those who we think are undeserving of our love. And then reflect on how you can “give up” those barriers this Lent.
Let us pray…
Lord God, you have made us in your image and likeness.
You have made us to love.
Teach us how to love as you love – to love until it hurts.
St. John Baptist de la Salle … pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts … forever.
Charles da Silva—Religion Teacher