This morning I went up I-95 to the same exit Lisa and I got off of last night for Mass. I went one mile in a different direction and was at St. Michael’s. It stands boldly on a side street, but when you walk in, you feel like you are in a different county. It is a Polish community, even though this mass was in English. The priest was Polish, along with the books and hymnals.
The inside of the church felt like a refuge from reality. Beautiful (mahogany??) dark wood, huge glass windows with mixed colors that blended together to create gorgeous images. The light came shining through highlighting various shades or blues and purples, shades of orange and reds and shades of greens mixed with yellows. GORGEOUS! There were details in the marble, the statues, and the wood. There was so much to look at! I wondered how old it was. The brick on the outside did not look too old, yet inside it felt like a step into history; a different time and a different place.
The priest did a beautiful homily about the statement “I love you”. He spun off from the reading about the greatest commandment and talked about how commonly the word LOVE is used. But he challenged us to think about what it really means and how we really demonstrate it on a daily basis. He said, “It is easier to talk about love vs. showing love.” I agree with him.
He asked a really important question. “Do I love all people – as Christ does?” OR “do I just tolerate a lot of them because I am supposed to?” Wow…great question! He talked about “loving someone” is a decision that you do with your heart, your soul and your mind. It doesn’t just come out of nowhere often. We have to make the decision to love others and then push ourselves so that our actions align to that decision. THAT IS HARD!!! I didn’t think I was ready to think so hard in Mass this morning, but he made me think which is good. It really is easier to say “ I love you” than to make sure EVERY action you do shows that “I love you”. (I know there have been plenty of time my words and actions did not align….especially to the ones I “LOVE” inside my house!!!! Just being honest!)
He asked us to clearly understand that when we say “I LOVE YOU”…we are really saying,
“I AM DECIDING TO LOVE YOU”….and by doing that saying to ourselves in that relationship:
“You have God’s respect through me so I only want what is good for you.”
“I feel responsible to help you even if it is at a cost for me.”
“You are worth my sacrifice.”
“Trust me, I won’t let you down.”
As I reread these statements……Isn’t that what Christ meant when he laid down His life for us because He loved us?