Monday, May 14, 2012

"I didn't say LIKE one another."

In Greek there are four words used for 'love'.  English has only one word and it gets abused.

Greek 'loves': eros - erotica love; philia - friendship; storge - natural affection (such as a mother for her child); agape - self-sacrificing love, unconditional love.

English 'loves' - I love my car; I love my dog; I love my husband; I love my child; I love God; I love that guy on that TV show, etc.  Some of these examples should actually use the word 'like', I like my car, but for the most part people understand what you really mean.  

Today's Gospel reading is the same from yesterday...apparently the Church thought we needed to study it.  It's all about love, agape love, that is.  Jesus isn't talking about friendship or even natural affection, he's talking about self-sacrificing love.  And, he certainly isn't talking about 'like'.  

Jesus' command is: self-sacrifice for one another.

Really?  But what about that jerk that I work with or that rude lady at the grocery store or all the other people who annoy the heck out of me?  Do I really have to self-sacrifice for them?

Jesus says yes.  I may not need to lay down my life for the rude lady at the grocery store, but I definitely should not give her a piece of my mind.  That's a self-sacrifice that will teach me patience and I will (or at least I pray I will) grow in love (agape and philia).  

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