If love is a verb, then maybe the love God asks of us is more action than emotion. We don’t necessarily have to feel a warm rush of affection for someone to love them. We are, however, asked to pray and to work for others’ wholeness–and as we do so, we may find ourselves changed as well. Maybe this is why we are to love our neighbors as ourselves: as we love others, love finds us too.
And if loving engagement in some relationships is not healthy or possible, there is still an option available to us: prayer.
Those we cannot bring ourselves to love are still part of “us” in the Lord’s Prayer. We pray for their daily bread, too, that they might be forgiven, too–even that we might be the ones to forgive them! We pray that they, too, might be saved from times of trial and that all of us might be delivered from evil – including the evil that divides us. As we pray in this way, we love our neighbor as ourselves and even love our enemy.
This message is excerpted from the faith reflection “Labor of love” by Meghan Johnston Aelabouni in the February 2022 Cafe online magazine. Today is the Fifth Sunday of Easter.
If you enjoy this resource, Donate Now.