CENTRALITY OF LOVE
Who has not felt the difference between the cold attention of a functionary who works out of duty and the personalised attention of someone who sees their work as a service to others? In our society, are we not ‘patients’, ‘clients’. ‘passengers’ and don’t we feel that we are treated anonymously or even as ‘numbers’? Sometimes we are even given numbers by which we are identified, called or waited on. Our problems are certainly resolved, our needs are met, but who we are, what we feel, my person, my ‘me’ are not taken into account. They are of no interest.
We ourselves give alms to a beggar and then forget about him: we seek to alleviate a need and stay cool, but it does not matter to or interest us who this person is, what they do, how they ended up in these circumstances, what they really need. We can do great things, resolve great problems of humanity but without charity, if there is no love, we have only gone half way.
Jesus comes to every heart because he directs himself personally to them: it is to the rich young man, the widow of Nain, Mary Magdalene, Peter that Jesus speaks. We know some of their names because they were known by the Christian community but for Jesus they were not anonymous. He does not give his life for a ‘generic human’, he does not abstractedly die on the cross for ‘humanity’. He speaks to you, dies for you, saves you, loves you personally.
‘Going beyond exterior appearances,’ says Benedict XVI, ‘I perceive in others an interior desire for a sign of love, of concern. This I can offer them not only through the organizations intended for such purposes, accepting it perhaps as a political necessity. Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave.’
Have you asked yourself at some point about the lives of those around you? Have you taken an interest in their problems, family life, or their feelings for you or of those whom you meet throughout the day?