Of late, the daily Gospel readings have been taken from Christ’s Farewell Discourse in John’s Gospel, mainly about his new commandment of love. Aside from LOVE, which is mentioned 179 times in the Gospels, there are a few other recurring themes/words in the gospels: JOY (335 mentions), PEACE (105 mentions), “DO NOT BE AFRAID.” (365 mentions).
The good news proclaimed by Christ indeed revolves around these themes. The cynical might say that Christ was just playing to the crowds and told them what they wanted to hear. But for me it all makes sense. Love is the only real choice, real decision in this restless world. With love, I can face anything and not be afraid. And in the process I have learned to live in peace with most situations I have been in and been blessed with an abiding joy.
Christ did not come to take away our pains and sufferings. Instead, he showed us how suffering can make us better and stronger persons. In spite of all the pain, it is possible to live a meaningful and joyful life. Even to the extent to dying for one’s friends. And even in the face of unjust and undeserved pain and punishment, he told his followers to forgive.
Christ could have given us all the material comforts we desire. But he did not. Instead, he taught us how to be generous and share with one another. There is more joy in giving and sharing than in hoarding and possessing.
Yes, love is the answer. If only we asked the right questions.