Oct. 12, 2016

Without love, virtue is dead

"...You load on people burdens that are unendurable, burdens that you yourselves do not touch with your fingertips" (Lk.11:46).

I wish our leaders have time to read passages such as this in the scriptures, maybe some would understand the consequences of their actions and inactions before God. Unfortunately, most of them don’t. Leadership goes with setting example. It is about being human and having feelings, so also every sphere of life. Imagine what a parent's word can do to the children if it is all talk and no action. Of course, little. Sure the children would be imagining if such parent was serious. No effect!

Christ lashes out at the Pharisees in the scripture, Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God". He says they are like unmarked graves that people walk on without knowing it. That means they are not treated with respect, they have no influence. Then the lawyer presents himself thinking his position would spare him. He must have been shocked when Christ scolded lawyers, "Woe to you lawyers as well, because you load on people burdens that are unendurable, burdens that you yourselves do not touch with your fingertips" (Lk.11:46). Christ has no favoritism.

This is a great lesson to all persons today with regard to human relationships. The golden rule says, "Always treat others as you would like them to treat you" (Matt.7:12). It is unfortunate that some persons carry burdens imposed on them by others. Some employers make things tough and hard for their employees. They place on them unendurable burdens. In the family, some persons place on other family members burdens that are unendurable- burdens of hatred and malice. Some friends make things difficult for their friends. These contradict the Christian life. We need to be sensitive to the psychological impact of what we do or say. Sometimes, it may be just spoken words, but they hurt another person and make the person bear terrible pain. That could be bad.

We must learn today that there can be no virtue without love. If we have love, then our relationships will be real and authentic. If we have love, our religious life and worship will be relevant. If we have love, the love of God directs us to discover in others his image and dignity. If we have love, we are prompted to respect life from conception to natural death. Think about what burden another person which is caused directly or indirectly as a result of your action. Think of how that also makes you feel. You cannot be truly free, for sure. Lift that burden off that person, and feel God's love in your heart. Else you're like an unmarked tomb, no identity, no impact, no name before God because virtue without love is dead.