By ATTY. JOEY D. LINA
Although one might say it wasn’t quite like no other, the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markel was certainly beyond the ordinary.
But I won’t dwell on the elegance of the “regally simple” royal ceremony because my fellow Manila Bulletin columnist, Jullie Yap-Daza, already did a nice job of telling how the event went, plus other interesting details like bridal gown and gossamer veil, with all the meanings attached – “poetic, romantic, sentimental, geographic, or personal.”
Beyond the sights and sounds of the royal wedding, I’d like to focus instead on what many find also extraordinary: the impassioned homily of Episcopal Church leader Rev. Michael Curry who spoke about the power of love – unselfish, sacrificial, and redemptive – “to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.”
So mesmerizing and electrifying was the 14-minute sermon, watched by an estimated two billion TV viewers on the planet, that some felt like it was “the day Bishop Curry took the world to church.” So captivating indeed was the homily’s substance and delivery that it became the most tweeted about moment of the wedding, generating a jaw-dropping 40,000 tweets a minute.
“When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again,” Bishop Curry exclaimed. “When love is the way, poverty would become history.”
“When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream, and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook,” he said. “When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more.”
Saying love “is not selfish and self-centered,” Bishop Curry referred to the late civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King and explained: “Love can be sacrificial, and in so doing, becomes redemptive. And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives. And it can change this world.”
“Imagine our homes and families when love is the way. Imagine our neighborhoods and communities where love is the way. Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce when love is the way,” Bishop Curry said. “When love is the way, there’s plenty of room for all of God’s children. When love is the way, we actually treat each other, well, like we are actually family. When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all, and we are brothers and sisters and children of God… That’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family!”
A new world would indeed emerge if love is the way. Global terrorism, Syria’s civil war, the Rohingya crisis, tensions in the Korean Peninsula, mass shootings, rampant criminality, drug addiction, discrimination and many other problems throughout the world wouldn’t seem hopeless if love is the way.
Love can also work wonders on glaring inequality The world’s richest one percent “raked in 82 percent of the wealth created last year while the poorest half of the population received none,” according to a January 2018 report of the international confederation of charitable organizations, Oxam, which painted a picture of a global economy in which “the wealthy few amass ever-greater fortunes while hundreds of millions of people are struggling to survive on poverty pay.”
And love is also the way to face the perennial challenges afflicting Philippine society. It’s appalling how many Filipinos go hungry every day, how many just die without even getting any medical attention, how sickening corruption continues to thrive, how innocent people rot in jail and the guilty go scot-free.
“There’s power in love to show and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live,” Bishop Curry exclaimed.
And he also stressed the most important of God’s teachings: “Jesus said, ‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. This is the first and great commandment. The second is like it – Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Indeed, on these two greatest commandments lies the key to our salvation and the solution of all problems in the world. But as I’ve said in my previous columns, love is action. To truly love God and our neighbor as ourselves, we need to utilize our time, talent, and treasure to serve others especially as we perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Love is to serve. Loving and serving go hand in hand, lest love would be meaningless. And the best way to serve is through the corporal works of mercy – To feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, bury the dead. And there are also the spiritual works of mercy – To admonish the sinner, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, comfort the sorrowful, bear wrongs patiently, forgive all injuries, pray for the living and the dead.
Following Christ’s teachings certainly helps bring about God’s Kingdom in this world. And love shows us how to live for others. Love is truly the way to solve all of our problems in this world.