Those of you who have experienced a beautiful courtship, marriage and honeymoon, I want you to remember that time. You were head over heels in love. You were crazy, deeply, madly, shamelessly in love.
Now, imagine God’s son coming to earth, born to Mary, as Jesus. Picture his sojourn on earth as God’s honeymoon. His time on earth with us fulfilled His Dream. The Son of God married us. God was crazy, deeply, madly, shamelessly in love with all mankind, so much so that He became man to live with us, from his Conception in Mary until his Death on the Cross and His Resurrection. He loved us so much that he came to share every part of our life. He loved us so much that he wanted us to live eternally with Him. He defeated Death for us, so that we might have no barriers to love and live with him forever. That is a crazy love story.
What happens to someone who is loved so much? We see it all the time. When someone loves someone else that much, it changes you. Unless you have a heart of stone, that love begins to spark love in your own heart and you begin to love back, to return that love. It might get messy and complicated and awkward sometimes, but that love begins to grow and grow and grow, bigger and bigger, like a family grows and grows out of the love of the two lovers.
Life as Jesus was the Son of God’s honeymoon. It was messy, and sometimes awkward and complicated at times. But that is how love is.
And, Jesus taught us how to love back.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit ….
When we are deeply in love, we are most able to re-shape our lives and conform to one another, picking up each other’s traits and habits and values. Love does that to us.
St. John writes about that transformation in love in his first letter.
… we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
That is what lovers do.
This is what happens when we grow in love with God. This is what happens to marriage partners who are deeply in love. We honor each others most treasured values. That is a sure sign that we are in love with that person.
It also happens to priests when we fall in love with our Church and our people. My experience as a priest is a love affair, even sometimes messy and awkward, but deep love. It also happens to religious sisters, like with our “Discipulas de Jesus” (Disciples of Jesus). They even wear a wedding ring to show that they are married to Jesus. They are living their lives deeply, madly in love.
And, John tells us that loving is God’s commandment. St. John writes,
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
He loved us first.