You know like many of your parents I was born in the 50s.
1955 was a good year.
I was in eighth grade in 1968 the zenith of the hippy days.
We all sang along with the Beatles.
“You say you want a revolution well you we all want to change the world.”
I can remember in my freshman year of High School going clothes shopping with my Mom and Dad.
We got the ties and dress shirts and Blazer that I needed for Bishop Turner Catholic High School.
But as we were walking out of the store
I stopped and asked my Mom for a pair of bell bottom pants.
There was a long family discussion and she let me buy them
as long as I paid for them myself,
and I promised never to wear them in front of my aunt and uncles, who happened to be her brothers and sisters.
The drinking age was 18, that meant people drank at 14 enough said.
I loved Jethro Tull, Neil Young and of course the Beatles.
I loved the Beatles even though they said that they were more popular than Jesus.
We were hippies and we gloried in it.
Well I was kind of a hippy.
Let’s say I aspired to be a hippy and a rebel.
But I don’t think I ever made it to full hippy status.
I never lived in a commune or I did not go to Woodstock.
I was one of the editors of my yearbook and this is the cover we chose.
When Fr. White the Principal saw the finished product he almost refused to let us hand the yearbooks out.
BTW we used to call him God but never to his face.
He asked us if there were secret message embedded in those drawing.
He asked us why we wanted to remember our high school with a year book that looked like a bad drug experience.
He seriously told us that people who looked at our yearbook might have seizures.
He was not happy at all.
(They were different times)
We were young and we were pretty naïve.
Yes we all believed in love.
We also believed that love was easy.
We believed the essence of love was being loved, being satisfied, being nurtured and cared for.
Another Beatles song we used to sing in our sleep was…
“All you need is love… da da da da da
All you need is love…. da da da da da
All you need is love love
Love is all you need.”
And you know I still believe the Beatles.
Love is all you need.
But I have come to understand that love is not what we thought it was in the days of our youth… in the days of the Revolution.
I have come to understand that…
Love is not a happy pill.
Love is not only a warm fuzzy feeling.
Love is not easy.
I have come to understand that if I find that love is easy
I might not even be loving at all.
Experience has shown me that love is really not about receiving or getting something at all.
Love is about giving, sharing, pouring out or lives for others.
As the second reading said so clearly
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
Life experience has shown me that
in today’s second reading St. Paul knows more about love than the Beatles.
In his letter to the Corinthians he wrote
Love is patient,
but we all know that being patient is not easy.
Love is kind,
but there are lots of moments when we would rather be anything but kind.
Love is not jealous,
and yet we have this propensity for comparing ourselves to others.
Love is not pompous,
yet so often we want to put ourselves first and impress others.
Love does not brood over past injuries
yet it is so hard to let go and forgive.
Love does not seek its own interests,
yet we know how much of our day
and our week
and our lives are spent seeking our own self interests?
As St. Paul said…
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Yes love is all you need,
real love is all you need.
Love like the Mom and Dad who work constantly to give their kids a chance.
Love like teacher who refuses to give up on the kid in the last seat of the third row who challenges her or him ever single class.
Love like the father who goes to a job he hates everyday because he knows it is how he must support his family.
Love like the parent who refuses to take a big promotion because he/her does not want to move his family when the kids are in High School.
Real love is the love that Jesus had for us as he poured out his life from the cross.
Real love is selfless
Real love is always directed toward the well being of others.
Yes there maybe moments of consolation and comfort when we love and are loved.
But the moment that consolation and comfort become the reason we love.
The moment our love is not completely free
what we do ceases to really be love at all.
Sometimes it really costs a lot to love
Sometimes real love is a harsh and dreadful thing
And yet that is how God loved us… on the cross and
How God calls us to love..
Our faith teaches us that love is why we are here.
We were created to Love God and Love our neighbor there are no exceptions.
The prophet Jeremiah in the first reading risked everything because he loved.
He was afraid but he kept loving.
The people in Nazareth were under the false impression that salvation was assured to all Jews so they though that how they lived didn’t really matter.
Somehow they had convinced themselves that they had a get out of love free card.
In the Gospel Jesus went to his home town and challenged the people he had grown up with because he loved them.
He didn’t go just to get them angry or upset even though that is what he knew would happen.
He went home knowing full well how he would be received.
But love compelled him to go.
And so holy ones let us take to heart the words of St. Paul.,
Let us take them to heart,
and let us love as God loves.
If we really want that revolution
we have to think about giving rather than receiving.
We have to have heartfelt concern for the poor and those who are lost
If we really loved as God would have us love
The world would be a different place indeed
For in the end there are only three things that last
Faith Hope and Love
And the greatest of these is love