Humankind seem to be at major crossroad of change, just another in her long history. This pandemic, in what is tangible, has threatened to push us into a new normal. But like a film negative from yesterday, the pandemic is merely the chemical used in the developing process turning hard-to-make-out negatives into bright, colourful, detailed photos. Today’s photo exposes who we have become.
It says a lot that while we wait for human ability to give us a vaccine, we are reduced to simple individual actions to fight it. And these actions are small acts like mask wearing and social distancing, but they highlight the impactful contribution we seemingly insignificant individuals can make. This situation is crying out, “We all matter, we must look out for one another”. It says even more when individuals resist this, standing tall in protest for individual rights. But they too are not to be blamed as individuals. It is merely how humankind has processed and developed into who we have become.
“‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’” (Sunday’s Gospel)
There is one constant that has survived every change in the history of humankind. This is the unconditional, ever-flowing love of God that flows pleadingly without judgement. Christian or non, believer or not, “love your neighbour” seem to be a very viable vaccine. But yes, as part of our development process we have also push religion out of the dark room. However, it would be incredibly naïve to expect the world to be any different from who she is today. We are who we are. God understands and will continue to pour his love into us to help us navigate life.
God pours love into us and it flows amongst us like an irrigation system. This flow will find its way into cracks and brokenness. The bigger the crack, the more it flows into it. Our life is such. No one journeys through life without crises. Often enough we find ourselves cracked and broken. In the biggest crisis we find ourselves sunken into our deepest self, feeling alone and abandoned, scrounging around for hope. Hope is like a crack in the darkness of despair, and into this crack this love will flow.
The love of God will always seek us out. It is said that we grow, mature and become better through crises. There are many stories out there testifying to this healing and restorative love of God. This unconditional love of God desires for us more than what we ourselves desire. As our brokenness is irrigated by the flow of this love, we find ourselves restored into a new normal of the fullness of life. In a way, God is harvesting us from our sufferings, and we emerge with new-found faith believing that love cannot be kept to one-self alone, for it will die. When it flows, it multiplies.
We have become who we have become. At this particular crossroad we know that little individual actions will count. Pope Francis said that this pandemic is a call for us to live differently. Maybe it is time to bring back into the dark room this chemical of love to process the negative of today to develop a better photo for tomorrow. Let love flow.
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time