“Love takes first place: love must never be put at risk, and the greatest danger lies in failing to love.” (Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, 92)
This invitation to prioritize love moves my heart outward. I realize that God has had that same priority with me and I cannot ignore his call to love. I feel that I am invited to a greater love, to transcend my own love and immerse myself in that vital way of bonding with others.
I have witnessed that love in the small gestures of my daily life, in the “Good morning” of a mother, in the advice of a friend, in a shared laugh, a gesture of reconciliation and even in a simple, “See you soon!” Christian obedience is a key part of this love; in obedience, I place the other person at the top of my list of priorities. This person comes to occupy a central place in my life. A husband must do this for his wife; a teacher for her students. All this requires me to reorient myself outwards, away from myself. I also recognize the fragility of my love, and I trust that there is a Love behind that sustains me; a Love that feeds and guides me in this adventure.
God’s love is always the prime example, who throughout my history has been patient and merciful with me. I look around and realize that I can experience that same patience with those I encounter. I am realizing more and more that the greatness of this invitation to love is hidden in the small gestures of everyday life.
It is to this love that I feel called. A unconditional love, committed, attentive and capable of a deep gaze that sees the value and sacredness of each person. A love that gives life, as Jesus promises us, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Carlos Núñez SJ
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Paraguay)