Why is it so hard to be human? Actually, it’s pretty easy to be a human. What’s hard is following the instructions we are given in today’s reading. But, why is that so hard? In a nutshell, we are called to:
- Live a life of love
- No sexual immorality
- No impurity
- No greed
- No obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking
- Live wisely
- Do not get drunk on wine
Which one of these is hardest for you? Frankly, I think if you do the first, everything else follows. So, let’s start with the first: Live a life of love. Paul goes on to say “just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”. Stop there. It is because of our very human nature that the very first thing on the above list, to me at least, is the hardest. It’s not good enough just to love mankind and treat others with love, but we are called to love as Christ loved.
In my mind, the only way to do this is to read the Gospels and hear what Jesus had to say. Then, pray, pray, pray. There needs to be a constant, intimate connection between each of us and Jesus. It is only through that connection that we can begin to live the life we are asked to live. Even then, there will be failings. The important thing is not to give yourself excuses for those failings. How many of us have said “I’m only human”? Don’t you think God knew that when he brought Jesus down to earth? God knows our failings better than anyone because he created us. Yet he still expects us to follow the example of his Son.
So, no more excuses. Just get out there and love your neighbor with all your heart, soul and mind. And while you are at it, love your Lord the same way.