The Greatest Is Love
By Father Brendan McGuire
Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, San Jose
Vicar General for Special Projects, Diocese of San Jose
“At present, we see indistinctly, as in a mirror …then later we will see fully and clearly.”
Recently, I went to a play. I cannot remember all the characters but there was a doctor, a king, a lawyer and a philosopher. After the play, they actors were all outside, greeting the audience dressed as regular men and women. We knew that the lawyer was not really a lawyer and he didn’t know anything about the law. The doctor clearly had no healing skills. As for the king, he had no kingly qualities at all. And the philospher knew nothing about philosphy. They knew there was a stage and they acted really well on it.
Life is like that stage. We have a role to play but, in the end, let’s not fool ourselves, we are all the same when we go before the Lord. We are still a man or a woman made in God’s image. All of the other stuff as Paul says, “passes away” and only one thing remains – love! How well we have loved is what matters. That will be our singular tool at judgment day. Not how well we have earned money. Not how well we have advanced in our careers. But how well we have loved in this life.
Sometimes love is complex; sometimes love is just really simple. The 15 women experiencing homelessness whom we have living in our Church this month just need to be loved. I understand that we do have roles to play on the stage of life and they are not insignificant. We do have a role to play in our family; a role to play in our job, etc. Lest we think that they have any final impact at the end, remember, there is nothing we take with us. No amount of money. No titles. All that goes with us is our love; how well we have loved whoever the Lord put in our lives and for each of us that is different.
When we see a homeless person differently, then we see all of life differently. When we see with those eyes of faith it is very profound. It is not just eyes of faith or eyes of hope; it is eyes of love that we want to share.
Over the next few weeks, we will be talking about the Annual Diocesan Appeal at every parish throughout the diocese. In this appeal called, Hand In Hand In Ministry, we will reflect on the fact that our local Diocese brings people together from all walks of life through a variety of ministries and services to work together in Christ to do God’s work of justice, mercy, outreach and formation. I hope that you consider giving a pledge. If you are not financially able to do so, please pray not just for the success of the campaign but that we all look with eyes of faith; that we know this life is a life – a stage life if you would – and that we are all equal in God’s eyes.
There are three great things remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of those is love.