Weekly Reflection - Without Love...
27 May 2021
Father Tim Carroll
In preparing a sermon for this Sunday I have been thinking about a verse in Mark 3:27 in which Jesus uses the metaphor of breaking into a home, tying up a strong man and plundering the house. Without going into a full interpretation of why the Gospel writer has used this metaphor, it did get me thinking about the issue of courage. It does sound quite cinematic and daring. An action that you would attribute to some courageous hero. Like something out of Mission Impossible or some other swashbuckling Hollywood movie.
It’s easy to think about courage in terms of bravery and the fearlessness of a movie star, but it doesn’t really tell the full picture of what courage is. It doesn’t make the connection with love. Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung says that bravery alone isn’t enough ‘without love, all the bravery in the world is mere gritted teeth’. Jesus knew that courage involved love. When Jesus confronted influential religious leaders, it was out of love for the people who were burdened by their rules and it was for love that Jesus ‘set his face towards Jerusalem’ even though he knew what awaited him there. Being courageous does not mean we are not afraid, but it is love that gives us the strength to grow in courage.
I have chatted with some people recently about returning to pre lockdown habits and I realized that as we become more open as a society and start going out more, we need some courage. We have lost a bit of confidence in ourselves, but we do not need to grit our teeth and pretend fear isn’t there and imitate an all-action hero. It might be more helpful to look to God’s love as a motivation in getting back into certain habits. Whether it is back in the workplace, being in larger social gatherings, volunteering or helping a stranger. Let’s locate the love of God within us and for others, so we that can grow in courage.