In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Twice in the Gospel passage that was read today, Christ says “he that hath ears to hear, let him hear,” and then “take heed how you hear,” that is, pay attention, ask yourselves the question how you listen to the word of God. We hear the word of God read in church year in, year out, we read it ourselves day after day. What have we heard in this reading of the Gospels? We have met God and we have believed in Him; we have met the Lord Jesus Christ and we have called ourselves by His mane, Christians. But what fruit have we borne? We know God, we know that God’s love, inexhaustible love, unfathomable depth of love, the love on the cross, the love that gave itself to complete destruction, without defence, in order to save us. But do we at all resemble the God in whom we believe?
If we believe in love, and love is the ultimate, the universal value that gives meaning to life, can we honestly say that we have heard this good, this saving truth, not only with our ears, but with our hearts and minds as well? Heard it with our hearts so as to be fired with love, heard it with our minds so as constantly to ask ourselves whether our words, our actions, our whole lives are an expression of love, or are they a denial of our whole faith? Because if our love is not incarnate in our lives, our faith is nothing but words.
Before we sing the Creed we are invited to remember this: Let us love one another that with one mind we may acknowledge Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If we do not love each other attentively, thoughtfully, creatively, sacrificially when necessary, joyfully, then the words we pronounce about the God in Trinity who is love, we do not believe, we are only pretending.
Let us face this acute question with all seriousness, for an apostate is not only the person who denies the existence of God, a heathen is not only the one who brushes aside Christ as his God and Saviour. We can be the heretics, the disrupters and tramplers of faith if our lives in no way bear witness that the God of love has fired our souls with a new love, not of this earth, that He has taught us to love in a way that cannot be learned in the world that can only be learned of God. Let us ask ourselves about this, and answer boldly, joyfully, not with words, but with living, and that our lives will blossom, then what Christ promised us will happen, He will bring us life, and life with abundance, a fullness of life such as the world cannot give. Amen.
Publication: Newsletter N.135, October 1981