33rd Sunday Reflection: Love comes to those who have Love already
Franciscan Reflections From The Hermitage – 33rd Sunday In Ordinary Time – Year A – Love comes to those who have Love already – Univocality Of Love – (Matthew 25:14-30)
Do I have love in my heart… have I ever absolutely Loved… do I even know what it means to genuinely Love? How much of what I think or say about Love should rather be classified as self-interest and even selfishness? Does the evidence of my life give witness to Love?
Each one of us was once young, eternal, invincible… oh, the wonderful beauty and the brashness of youth that so confidently begins knowing not that it does not know.
Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt. ― St. Francis Of Assisi
As we become more introspective, perhaps just growing old and having to face our mortality, these questions of our core being become more important and perhaps even paramount. As we stand before the Pantocrator who calls us by our eternal love name, this is perhaps the only question we will have to answer… did my life give witness to Love?
The single greatest gift, that talent that reflects God’s essence, received through our parents and ancestors through the dawn of creation, is Love… eternal, and univocal. Just as our Franciscan brother Blessed John Duns Scotus spoke of the Univosity of being, God as being itself in which all creation participates, so we speak the UNIVOCALITY OF LOVE.
This anticipation of the other’s Love is the only way to enter Love. The more I Love at a loss… the more I simply Love. Yet in this ‘loss’ we lose nothing and win everything… beginning with the very possibility of loving. Therefore the paradox … Love that risks the most is the most assured… when lovers separate, the most unhappy one is the one who no longer loves, not the one who still loves… they have lost nothing because they remain the Lover. “For whoever has, to them shall be given, and they shall have more abundance. But whoever does not have, from them shall be taken away even that which they have”.
This Univosity of Being and Love gives us a foundation for understanding the sacredness of everything and our connection with everything. As theology, philosophy, and science converge, we come to understand all we are already connected to everything… We begin with ‘original blessing… Our DNA is already divine and that is why we naturally seek to know and Love God. There must be a little bit of something inside us for us to be attracted to it… like knows like. You are what you are looking for!
Where is the Love? Can be found somewhere along the way like some treasure that makes the journey worthwhile? Or is Love the journey itself? Or is it the dream that makes the journey possible… these thoughts ran through Francis’s mind one day as he listened to Brother Leo reading to him the letter of St John the apostle: God is Love, and if you abide in Love, you abide in God and God in you.
Yet, if you found God, you also found Love. But that was only the beginning of the quest, for was ever sure of having found God or even sure of looking for God in the right places and by the right road? Francis’s experience in the cave assured him that Jesus dwelled within him and that God was nowhere farther than his own heart. But they were the other presences of God he sought to find he wanted to search for God in all the places where you dwell and knew that such a request meant finding God everywhere along the way.
That is where Love was, that is where God was… anywhere and everywhere. To find God in the poorer crumbling houses of Poggio Bustone, to find God in the Castle of a count, in a cave on Mount Subasio, as well as in the Eucharist reserved in the tiny chapel of St Mary of the Angels. Francis suddenly realised that somewhere along the way he had begun finding God everywhere because God was with him all the time he brought Love with him on the road and that is why he found Love all along the way.
It was all so simple when he thought about it now. Love comes to those who have a Love already. You find what you bring with you in your heart. God has loved us and that gift is ours before we ever set out to find it.
(Bodo, Murray. The Journey and the Dream. 2011 p. 138)
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