Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada



THE HARDEST ROAD

This week I had the joy of hearing part of a song by Bruno Pelletier called "Aime!" (Love!). It encourages the listener to take the risk of loving because it is the only reason for living - as well as the hardest road to follow ("le chemin le plus dur ? suivre").

This first Sunday after Pentecost which is called "All Saints'" gives us a chance to reflect on this road. Saints are people who are deeply touched by the Jesus' love. They reflect this love by their lives, giving themselves completely to Him. Yet this love is shown by a life intimately linked with the people of this earth. The Saints love God by loving the inhabitants of this planet - often to the point of dying for them.

Their martyrdom is an expression of their love for Jesus Who gave up His life for us. It is also the expression of their love for those for whom He suffered. We can not see the love of Jesus except as it is incarnate in the lives of those who have been captivated and transformed by it.

It is also a question of responsibility. Love does not seek to escape consequences such as fear and hatred by those who do not understand, who find it impossible to trust and believe in this pure, sincere and transparent wonder which refuses to agree with the view that this planet and life upon it is nothing but a jungle where you eat or are eaten. Again Jesus is our example: He gave us His Body and Blood as supernatural food in the Eucharist so we could eat and be changed by it.

Incarnate love weeps as Jesus wept over those who would not see the treasure which was offered them unconditionally. It accepts suffering, rejection and even death, and will not turn against or from the beloved ones who test it by their cruelty and violence.

Are we ready to take this hardest road? Now, don't be in a hurry to give an easy "Yes" to that question! We must start upon this road with humility. Love requires patience, steadfastness through trials and tribulations, tears, prayers, falls, and many returns back to the road from which one has strayed. It is a process inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit Who has come to work this miracle in every human of good will.

The condition for following the blessed and precious road which holds the only hope for the future of humanity and this planet is our will, our desire! We must want to love! But what if we find ourselves too timid, too bound up with the desire for comfort and pleasure? Wish to want! Everything is possible with God. And in our spirit we really do want to love because we want to be loved. Come follow the desire of your heart: love!

V. Rev. Ihor Kutash