Love makes the world go round. This can be a mushy sentiment carelessly tossed out by hopeless romantics, but it does have a certain truth in it.
Of course, they way that many people choose to define “love” can also be the cause of a lot of the world’s troubles and turmoils, but I won’t get into that in this blog reflection. But on many levels, the seasons of Advent and Christmas are indeed the seasons of love. However, I wonder if there are many out there who think this way.
After all, what was the world waiting for when it was being prepared for the coming of the Messiah, but arrival of someone who would change the world. Change what? Among many things, the way the world loved before. It needed a model of selfless love that would be the ultimate overturning of sin and selfishness that was the root cause of mankind’s miseries in life.
It was St John of the Cross, whose feast we celebrated sometime last week who said one of the most poignant things that one could say about love. In one of his writings, he said so profoundly “where there is no love, put love, and then you will find love”.
That is what God did in the incarnation. This is what Advent and the continuing season of Advent celebrates, if we want a succinct spirituality behind it. In our weak and selfish ways, we had been incapable of loving as God created us to love, and this required of God to show us just how to do it through an example par excellent. It was as if God was looking on in the world and could not find love in its pristine form. Dismayed and wanting to lead the world out of its mess, out of mercy, God decidedly put love into the world, and there found love.
While the world seems to be more intent on taking love, God reverses it and puts it in - in Christ. It’s as if the cogs of love were suddenly made to turn in the opposite direction, and it changed everything. The incarnation then becomes the love overturning everything that is the antithesis of love - hatred, envy, violence, revenge, selfishness, sloth, greed, and most of all, fear.
This then, has to be our shared quest as disciples of Christ. There are many places, I am sure, where you and I find little or no love. It’s far too easy to complain, criticize or to be cynical about it. If we do find love lacking there, our call is to, as John of the Cross said, put love in.
Then we will find love. Like God did. Have a blessed last week of Advent joy, everybody!