That Jesus calls us to love one another? This past Friday we celebrated Valentine’s Day. It made me think of when I was teaching some Sudanese children Catechesis in Buffalo’s inner city. In our conversations, I learned that they had never heard the words “I love you” nor had they ever told their parents that they loved them. This shocked me. What many of us consider a given was something they had never heard in their life. It simply was not part of their culture. Upon reflection I thought about the people in my life, my friends, colleagues, teachers, and even my own extended family. Was there love there? Yes. Did we say “I love you?” Yes and No. While we never said “I love you” verbally, we said it non-verbally in many ways – in our deeds and actions. In talking with these children, I let them know that they were very much loved, for while they may have never heard the words verbally, their parents say it to them every day by keeping them safe, wanting a bright future for them, putting a roof over their heads, and so on. And the children too, can say “I love you” by doing simply things, like doing the dishes without being asked or making their beds. As we read in 1 John 3:18, “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” As baptized Christians, we are called to be instruments of love here on earth, through our deeds and actions, which are often unspoken. So whether it be a smile, holding the door open for someone, or dropping off some food for the poor, it’s these simple things that say to our brothers and sisters that they are loved without saying a single word.
From Our Pastor