Reflect Love

From Br. Joseph —

This is the fourth reflection on seven signposts for the season of Lent (and for all seasons).

Signposts give us direction. They point to some place. They involve action, movement. Many signposts call us to remember something important, some thing that is already there but is often covered up by the minutia of daily life. Signposts represent a choice—to follow or not to follow. It takes grace to see a signpost and courage to follow where it points.

• • • Reflect love. • • •

Love, by its very nature, always reaches outward.

This is the center signpost. There is a signpost for hope and one for faith (trust). Love of course needs to be included. And being the greatest of the three, plus a direct reference to the very nature of God, it is especially highlighted.

All signposts ultimately point to where this signpost points. We are not the source of love. God is. We do not possess love. Love possesses us. We do not create love. We channel love. And love, unlike the limited nature of material things, grows as it is shared. God is prodigal. God is abundant and, I suppose we could even say, aches to share—to give away—Himself to us.

Love as described here is not an emotion. Emotions are important, but love is much more than emotions. Love, by its very nature, always reaches outward. In whatever shape, form or energy, love gives. Some synonyms for this giving love are service, sacrifice, compassion, selflessness, generosity and charity.

Scripture reveals that we are made in the image of God. This means two things, and both are equally correct. First, we are created as a copy—a person imprinted or made from an impression from a master image, the master image of who/what God is. This does not mean we are gods. We have some attributes like God, that is, beings with a will, an intellect and freedom to choose. We are called to be children of God, to be sisters and brothers of Jesus, to take upon the nature of our Father whose nature is to love, to give.

Second, we are an image as in a reflection—we reflect the image of God to others. We are mirrors, icons as the Eastern church might say, of God and of His love for us. How well do we reflect that love? God knows that each and every one of us is a broken mirror, but He still chooses to give to us, to shine upon us.

God wants to play catch. He throws us a ball called Love. Are we going to throw it back to God and to the next person? Or are we going to keep it?

Love, by its very nature, always reaches outward.

As flowing water falls to seek the lowest point,
It gives all its energy away until none remains,
And then returns to the source to fall again.
What does the water gain from this falling?
What does life gain?

Keep hope alive.
Dare to trust.
Surrender to grace.
••• Reflect love. •••

And don’t forget to polish your mirror a little. God will help…

Our Lady of Mercy is praying for us.

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