“Loving can hurt. Loving can hurt sometimes…It is the only thing that makes us feel alive.” This line from Ed Sheeran’s song “Photograph” says, “It is the only thing that makes us feel alive.” Jesus gives us the greatest commandment of love: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” He demonstrates the exact kind of love he means when he gives us this commandment: “Love one another as I love you.” Jesus gives us this clear definition of love by giving his life on the cross.

Loving is hurting. Just like the Ed Sheeran song, to love is to be hurt. It is to sense anguish and sorrow without experiencing loss. It is carrying the pain and injury with such serenity. It is joyful but also hurting. Jesus took all of it on during his passion. Despite his pain, he was not a loser. He prevailed. Love is forgiving. Forgiveness is not possible without sincere love. If one loves, he forgives the other person, no matter how much damage and ruin they have inflicted. It also entails letting up of one’s own beliefs and values in order to listen to others, being silent even when there is a lot to say, and tolerating and simply accepting realities that are nearly impossible to change. When we admit that we do not know the truth and that life is not about getting ahead.

Loving is the act of setting free. When someone sincerely loves, he lets go because he understands that love doesn’t hold back. It means achieving freedom from selfishness, fear, jealousy, possession, and pride. Jesus, despite living his life to the fullest, did not hesitate to sacrifice his life freely. To love means to appreciate those around us, to respect their decisions, and to love them as they are, not as we want them to be, but as they are, unconditionally.

Let us question ourselves: What is this love that Jesus tells us to maintain in order to experience his joy? “Remain in me…remain in my love”. What is this love that Jesus instructs us to stay in in order to experience his delight, let’s ask ourselves? “Stay with me. Stay in my love “These are the words that come from liberty and selflessness, not from possessiveness and selfishness. Palau’s love, which translates to “love of God and love of neighbor,” is what motivated him to give his life in order to serve the wounded Body of Christ. It is the same love that drove him to devote his entire life to the service of the Church.

Loving can hurt…but it is the only thing that makes us alive. Love is the only thing that gives meaning to our existence. The only magic that can translate all hate and anger into peace. Love is our mission. Love is our vocation.

P. Palau Community