October 25, 2020 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/102520.cfm)
Early 1991, a popular song by Extreme, an American rock band entitled: “More than Words” was released. Surely we all have heard and familiar of this song. Many of us could relate with the song, as we listen to it along with its cool acoustic strumming, nice voice blending, and even sometimes we catch ourselves singing-along with the lyrics like: “Then you would’nt have to say that your love me… coz I’d already know”. Nice song, diba? Well, for us, it might be one of the cool sounds to hear, nice to sing-along with, popular and common song of our time. But, for others, the song: “More than words” is their most special, intimate, and personal love song.
You see, for us Catholic, marriage rite and weddings mean more than just contracts, ceremony, receptions, or party, but it is a sacrament. And again for us Catholic, what makes a marriage sacrament is more than just the wedding rites, receptions, guests and entourage, remembrance photos-videos, missalette, attire, even the presider-priest. But what makes wedding day a Sacrament is the presence and love of the couple themselves, before God’s altar. Yes, the couples’ very love for each other, their faith in God, and their resolve to love each other eternally and sacredly make their marriage and their wedding SACRAMENT. More than the words, gestures, decorations, expenses, attires, food and others is the couple’s consecrated LOVE itself – a SACRAMENT of God’s love and our love.
For what is a SACRAMENT? A sacrament is human expressions of our sacred love to God and each other, as well as is God’s human expressions of love to us. Somehow, a sacrament is our response to God’s commandments of love to “Love one another”. It is sacred expression of our love of God as we love one another, and it is human expression of our love of one another, as we love God. And for all those who know and experience what love is, Love is more than the words we say but moreso about the life we live, and commit to. Love is more than just saying “I love you” but meaning what you said & promised, i.e. being here present for this person all the days of your life, whatever it takes, whatever others say about you both. Love is, as the song would say: More than words to show you feel/ that your love for me is real. Meaning, Our Love of others is something REAL than the words spoken or written. Loving others is something Sacred, Holy, Personal, Intimate, Eternal, Divine. In other words, SACRAMENT, expression of God’s love for us and our love for God.
In our gospel today, the Lord reminded us of the commandment for us to Love God with all our hearts, mind & soul, and to love one another as we love ourselves. Here Jesus simply challenges us to make & offer our Lovelife to be Holy, Sacred and Godly before God and others. You see, Love is basically all about our being intimately, closely & personally related with an-other person. Human as we are, we need to be intimately in relationship with others – we need to love others & be loved by others in life. As we do our best, struggle & grow with our lovelife, the invitation really is to make our Lovelife a Sacrament – to consecrate our Love to the Lord, as our concrete way of loving God in our life. Loving others as oneself is already great, but the greatest things is to offer our love for others Godly and sacredly (diniyos/balaan) before God and others – Sacrament of Love. If and when we commit our love for others as sacrament, challenging it may be, we find in our lovelife with our loved ones, among couples, within family, community, church, & society more meaning, value & direction.
Now, How’s your lovelife?… However we describe the status of our lovelife (whether single, singled, in relationship, engaged, complicated, married, divorced, separated, in love, broken, and others), we also do know that our lovelife is more than just the words we say and just about object or subject of our affection, but more so about our whole experience of being loved & being loving – on how we experience love in life that considers its memories, feelings, emotions, challenges, & growth. Others might have fallen in and/or fallen out of love. Others have grown and/or failed in love.
But in our lifetime, surely we do find ourselves trying again and anew our best, continually learning & struggling with our lovelife. Perhaps occasionally it is good to review our lovelife. Ask ourselves: “How is my lovelife? Have I been loving with others? Have I been loved by others? Has my love and their love for me sacred and godly? Is our love for one another a sacrament?
Pandemic times makes us aware that we need each others’ love. People are needing our love as well as we do need other’s love. We pray then that may our lovelife now be Holy & be a witness of God’s love for all those who are needy at this time. May God & Christ be known & loved by others & all through our Christian love for one another. By our sacred love – diniyos nga gugma, may we be blessed and be a blessing to others. So be it. Amen.
By Fr. Aphelie Mario Masangcay, CSsR