Choose to love | Inquirer Opinion
Moments

Choose to love

/ 05:01 AM September 11, 2022

The story is told about two policemen who stopped a couple at a COVID checkpoint. After they let them through, one of them said: “The husband has COVID, Bro.” His colleague said: “Why do you say that? How do you know?” In jest, he whispered: “He has no taste.”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 15, 1-32), Jesus talks about God who, in the eyes of the world, seems to have no taste at all. Instead of enjoying the 99 sheep in His fold, He’d look for the one lost sheep. Instead of rejoicing that He has still nine coins, He would still look for the one lost coin. And instead of delighting in His good children, He would go search out for His prodigal sinful child, like you and me.

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One of the first questions I will ask the Lord when I finally get to meet Him (hopefully!) is: “Lord, why do you love me so much?” Maybe He will just quietly smile at me, and then I’ll realize that it was not all about me. It was all because He chose to love me. “You did not choose me, but I choose you…” (Jn. 15,16). And I’ll say then with joy and humility: “Thank you, Lord, for choosing to love me, in spite of me!”

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At the renewal of vows of a golden jubilarian couple, the wife said to her husband: “I know of all your infidelities, but I made the decision to go on living with your lies than go on living without you.” There was a lot of whispering among the wives present in the congregation, but I took the occasion to say: She made a decision to love, no matter what. Who are we to say that she was wrong, a martyr, a fool. Love gives on when, beyond taste, we choose and decide to love on.

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I remember a counseling I had once with a “tough” military guy. He was proud, cynical, and even argumentative. But I just kept on listening and kept on telling him of God’s unconditional love. Just when I thought I was not making any breakthrough, I asked him to just be quiet and pray silently with me. And then, the Holy Spirit took over, and he started crying like a child. He just let go, and he just let God embrace him. Yes, the warrior is a child. He had a good confession, and when I told him one more time, God loves you, he smiled, and gave his parting shot: “He has good taste, Father!”

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God made a choice to love us. Let us also make a choice to be constant, honest, “ingat,” courageous, and expressive in our loving Him, others, and ourselves!

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CONSTANT. To be constant in love is not to allow my personal moods, preferences, decisions, disappointments, and heartaches to affect nor diminish my love. It means being faithful, steadfast and steady, and to be focused on my “true worth.”

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HONEST. Even in love, especially in love, honesty is still the best policy. For love to survive and grow, there must be trust, which is founded on honesty in thought, words, and deeds.

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“INGAT.” Care. To care also means to take care of your commitments, vows, duties, and promises, and also to be careful, i.e, to be full of care, so that we can be full of love.

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COURAGE. Loving is taking a risk, going beyond what is comfortable and what is expected. It is daring to be a fool, to be a clown or a martyr if it need be. It is taking a chance on others, and risking it all for the Lord, who risked and made a choice on us.

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EXPRESSIVE. In life as in love, let us focus less on being impressive, and more on being expressive. Let us not neglect, defer, or postpone our loving.

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A moment with our Lord: Lord, thank you for choosing to love us, and not giving up on us. Amen.

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MORE ‘MOMENTS’

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