“At the end of our life we shall be judged by charity.” ~ St. John of the Cross
“If I have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clashing cymbal.” St. Paul really hit the nail on the head when he wrote to the Corinthians about love. To Paul, as to many a saint throughout the ages, love is where it is at. Love is at the heart of any Christian. Love is the pinnacle. It is all because love is of God and love is God.
If God is love, as we indeed believe Him to be, then we must become people of love as well since that is the challenge given to us by Jesus Christ. For some, this is an easy command to embrace. For others, it is a horrible request because they do not want to think about others first. They only want to think about themselves.
That we will be judged against the benchmark of charity is not a surprise. Paul reminded us that it is the love of God that urges us on in our faith lives. That love, as we have discussed many times, is a love that is to be directed outward, embracing the needs of others before our own needs. Love is self-sacrificing, all-embracing, and totally unconditional.
We have seen selfish people before and been disappointed — and maybe even hurt — by them. We have been selfish people before and have disappointed — and maybe even hurt — others. Selfish and love simply do not belong in the same sentence. Selfless, on the other hand? That is totally what love is all about.
Imagine the examination we will get when we stand before the Lord for our judgment: “Why did you think of yourself more than this person who was in need?” “Why did you ignore the plight of this person?” “Why did you encourage other people to help a worthy cause but never lifted a finger to help as well?”
As if feeling bad and guilty about all those questions wouldn’t be bad enough, the “big reveal” would then take place: “And, by the way, I was in all of those people whom you ignored, or failed to help, or chose to hurt.”
Do not forget St. John of the Cross’ words: “At the end of our life we shall be judged by charity.”
FAITH ACTION: Do and say all things today out of love.