“Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles.”
We all long to be loved. All of us! If you are human, then you have a deep seated yearning to be loved. One does not get married to have company. One gets married to love and be loved. One does not have children to be busy all the time or to make life so much harder. One has children to love and be loved. One does not love and live to eat. One eats to love and live.
I love you! How these three little words can change everything! Because of love, everything changes! Everything! For those who have waited for and experienced authentic love, you know what I am saying. For those who have not, your wait is over! The Lord’s calling is a calling of love to love and be loved. It is a calling of who I should be, what I should do and what I should seek.
Look throughout Scripture. Examine it. God’s love for man is well documented from beginning to the end; from top to bottom, from East to West. It summarizes the entire Bible. It is the summary of all His Commandments. We were created in God’s image, and since God is love, we were created out of love to love and be loved. We are to love unconditionally. We will be recognized by Him and known to belong to Him by the way we love. “I love you!” brings a smile on one’s face and warmth to the other’s embrace. “I love you!” collapses the Universe into a cozy place. “I love you” is our Christian message to you! “Their message goes out through all the earth” (Ps. 19: 5a).
Don't get me wrong. Christian love does not mean that we applaud all things or endorse all things. We don't try to get people to love us by saying "everything is okay". We tell them, out of love, "everything could be so much better!"
He called his disciples to himself. The Lord chose these holy men for their unfeigned love, and gave them eternal glory! (Entrance Antiphon) Today we celebrate the lives of the Apostles Jude and Simon. But we know that the lives of all the Twelve changed forever. All of them fell in love with the Lord in a very radical way. Life did not become easier for them. Life did not become less stressful, less dangerous, less tempting or less painful. No! Instead, life became wild and adventurous. It actually became more stressful, more dangerous, and much more painful. Love brings about the same sentiments and reactions as childbirth, for love always creates and procreates - it always gives life to another! So love is worthwhile. It does the heart a lot of good. It makes life worth living! It puts an end to evil by ending all arguments, all disagreements, all selfishness, all sinfulness, all loneliness and all forgetfulness. Perfect love brings us home and heaven is home. “You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.”
Heavenly Father, help us receive your love so as to give it as you gave it. You sent us your Son – your heart and your love. By doing so, you gave us a message that became flesh and blood: “I love you!” Help us to love as you love us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.