Rev. John Kha Tran

I have heard you urge people to keep on telling God, time and again, ‘I love you!’ I love you! I love you!’ Don’t you think God would be tired of listening to the same words?” a young man asked.
I said to him, “How many times did you tell your girlfriend today that you loved her?”
“Many times.”
“And how many times did you tell her yesterday?”
“Very many times.”
“And the day before?”
“Times without number.”
“Does she not feel tired of listening to the same words, again and again?”
“No,” answered the young man. “She rejoices to hear those words, every time I tell her.”
“You have answered your own question,” I said to him quietly (J. P. Vaswani, The Good You Do Returns, p. 81).

Experience of Love

Love is an everlasting spirit in human heart. The desire to love and be loved is eternal. Every human being, from a new born child to an elderly person, from birth to death, has a desire for love and a capacity to love. The desire for love seems never filled; and the capacity to love seems never adequate. We can never have enough love, and we also can never love adequately. There is always a desire for more. The more we love the better we understand the meaning of love; and a better lover we become.

We can never sufficiently describe the meaning of love either. I often ask an engaged couple to describe for me the love they have for their fiancé in order to help me understand how much they love each other; and how can they be so confident to commit to love each other forever. The best they can say is, “We just feel right with each other.”

And ask them, “What happens when you do not feel right with each other?”

They say, “We just have to make it right again!”

Our love is always not enough, inadequate and imperfect, and we always need to make it fit and right again and again; because our love now is only a reflection of the True Love. St. Paul explains, “At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully. “So Faith, Hope and Love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.”  We can only see and understand love fully when we come face to face with God, the TRUE LOVE.

Normally, we want to love; we are motivated to love; and we actually commit to love someone only when we see that person is valuable to us. Husband and wife commit themselves to love each other because they see and share the common values in each other. Friendships develop because of common values; friendship stop when we do not see the values in it. Marriage ends in separation and divorce when spouses no longer see the value to stay; or the cost to stay is too much to bear. In the Gospel’s reading, the Jews reject Jesus because they do not agree with Jesus’ teaching and values. They do not see eye to eye with Jesus. They are not filled with love but filled with fury. They want to kill Him. There is an absence of love in them. This absence of love leads to destructive behaviors.   

Lesson of Love

In the Broadway play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” a father dies survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. Each has a different idea on how to use the father’s inheritance.

The widow wants to buy a new home.
The daughter sees it as her opportunity to go to medical school.
The son wants to go in business with a friend.

“Don’t you see,” he says to his mother and sister, “if I take this money to invest, I can do all these things for both of you.”

So the son gets the money, gives it to the friend, but the friend absconds with it: skips town. And the son has the difficult task of telling his mother and sister that all the money is lost. The mother responds sympathetically.

She rubs his neck and says, “Honey, I know you feel so bad.”
Whereupon, the sister says, “How can you love him with what he has done? He doesn’t deserve to be loved. He doesn’t deserve any love.”
To which the mother replies, “Honey, when do you think is the time to love somebody?”
“Is it when they get a big promotion?”
“Is it when they’re successful? “
“Is it when all their investments pay off?”
“Is that the time you love somebody?”
“Honey, the time to love someone is when they’re down-and-out. The time to love someone is when they’ve made a mistake in their life and they feel bad. The time to love somebody is when they have nobody to reach out to. The time to love somebody is when life has whipped and beaten them. That’s the time to love somebody.”