I sometimes meet people who seem to be under the impression that faith is a destination, rather than a journey. Like faith is a finish line rather than an obstacle course. Like faith is an end rather than a beginning.
And I also meet people who seem to think that faith is an easy way out. I am not sure what they seem to feel faith is an easy way out of, but nothing could be further from the truth.
To be a person of faith means you are called to a different moral and philosophical path; a path the world does not validate; a path that leads outside ourselves, outside our four walls, into the community of need in the world; a path that is certainly more difficult by times than simply "knowing things".
In today's Gospel passage (John 13:1-35), Christ calls the disciples (and by extension, He also calls us) to "Love one another as I have loved you". There is, in other words, a consequence to faith. It is not a free ride. There is an expectation.
Love, properly understood in the context in which Christ is obviously using it in this passage, is the verb "to love" rather than the noun. Christ is calling his disciples to action, not to a warm, fuzzy feeling that they are to sit around with and live in.
Christ is calling his disciples to leave the upper room, to go out into the world and to put into action the principle of love which he showed them. Faith, far from being a comforting illusion, is not the end of that action. It is, instead, merely the beginning of that action in the world. It is the principle which first draws our attention to a suffering world, and then sustains us beyond our own selfishness to go out and help.
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