In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
On the day we remember the Cross, we must pay particular attention to
what Divine Love is. God so loved the world that He gave His
Only-Begotten Son unto death, so that no-one, no-one should be
forgotten and left aside.
But if that is true, how should we look at one another and treat one
another? If each of us is so meaningful to God, if He loves him to such
an extent that His life is given, His death is accepted - how should we
treat our neighbour?!
There are people whom we love in a natural way, who are akin to us in
mind, in emotion, in so many ways - but is that love? Does that mean
that we love this person as the most precious person in the eyes of God
and the most precious person in my eyes, because I want to be with God,
share His thoughts, His attitude to life.
And how many there are whom we treat with indifference: we wish them no
evil - they don’t exist for us! Let us look around, here, in this
congregation, now and week after week, and ask ourselves, ‘What does
this person mean to me?” - Nothing; just someone who attends the same
church, who believes in the same God, who receives the same communion -
and we forget that those who have received this same communion have
become part of the body of Christ, that God Himself lives in them, and
that we should turn to them, look at them and see in them the temples of
the Holy Spirit, an extension of the Incarnation.
Let us ask ourselves severe, pertinent questions about the way in which
we treat our neighbour and we see our neighbour. Let us devote a whole
week perhaps to thinking of one person after the other and ask
ourselves, ‘Is there any love in me for this person?’ Not a sentimental
love, but the kind of love which in the light of God makes this person
precious, - precious to the point that I should be prepared, ultimately,
yes, to give my life for this person. This is not asked day after day,
but what is asked is that we should give some warmth, some compassion,
some understanding, some recognition to the existence of this person.
And when we come to confession next week, let us bring that, among other
things, to God: does my neibourgh exist for me? Who is he to me? To God
he is everything; if he is nothing to me, where do I stand before God?