At our worship gathering at the warehouse yesterday, it was all about love.
it made me think of 3 great bits from lovers I like:
- Jean Vanier, the founder of L'Arche, an international organization which creates communities where people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them share life together, writes in Community and Growth:
It is important that [those] who hear the call of God or of the poor come into community to be there as a sign of the Kingdom, a sign that love is possible and that there is hope.
- Richard Rohr, the Franciscan priest and writer,
Nothing in this world is an end in itself, including Church, pastors, priests, bishops, popes, laws, Bible—nothing! Only God is an end; everything else is a means. Only God can save us, not the Church and not any formula, technique, or pious practice.
The Church is a beautiful gift given by God to preach that word which will set us free. But when we instead preach "Church" itself, we are not necessarily proclaiming the Great Mystery. We often are preaching ourselves. Jesus never preached Israel, he preached Yahweh. He preached the absolute transcendence of Yahweh and fidelity and obedience to Yahweh.
At the same time Jesus never put Israel down. He loved Israel. Insofar as Israel was true to the covenant and true to the prophets, Jesus was obedient to Israel, obedient to the priests, obedient to "the Church." But he wasn't afraid to keep knocking on the door. He kept inviting Israel to be true to itself. Jesus taught us to love the unlovely, exactly as it was.
If we simply love that which is worthy of love, we will never love at all. The Lord loved "the Church," Israel, exactly as it was. You cannot love the Church as it was fifty years ago. That's a cop-out. The only Church you must love is the Church today.