Where There is No Love Put Love
It was a weekday Advent mass that I remember using a saying from St. John of the Cross that offers one more meaning to our celebration of Christmas Eve. First and foremost, we are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God who came to live among us as a man. But John of the Cross fleshed it out for me when he said, “where there is no love, put love and you will draw out love.”
That is what the birth of Jesus did and continues to do for us. God put love into our world and that love has been drawing out love ever since.
Throughout the Season of Advent our Scripture readings have detailed for us the plight of a people who walked in darkness and were weighted down by sin and oppression. But the joke that burdened them was smashed. Where there was no love, God the Father put love, his very own son, Jesus Christ.
There are so many wonderful stories this time of year that bear witness to the teaching that where there is no love, put love and you will draw out love. One story in particular tells of an immigrant mother who approached an agency for a gift for her son. She was asked how old her son was and she said seventeen. She was told that he was too old to qualify. She broke down and cried. What she was trying to say but could not explain in English was that her son though 17 had the mind of a four-year-old.
A person standing by who understood the mother’s language intervened and explained what the mother was trying to say and the mother was given the toy for her son. She broke down and hugged the person who spoke up for her.
WHERE THERE WAS NO LOVE, SOMEONE PUT LOVE AND DREW OUT LOVE.
The Providence, R.I. Journal carried a story of a nightly practice on the part of the Providence police who stationed themselves across from the Children’s Hasbro Hospital and would flash their car lights at 8:30 PM every evening, the time the children who were patients there retired for the evening. Children came to know this and some of them who could would approach the window with a flash light to acknowledge the police. Where there was no love, the police put love and drew out love
This night is indeed a holy night. We are celebrating the birth of our savior. It is an occasion for joy and song. While the focus is on the birth of a child, the child for us is Emmanuel, God with us. God saw our world which he created and it was good but with the passage of time it became covered in darkness. God the Father put Jesus who is Love into our world and that Love has been drawing out love ever since.
While having breakfast one morning and reading a newspaper I saw an article about Ann Curry, a TV journalist who wrote about the power of love which brings us together. Her father was in the navy and married a woman he met while stationed in Japan. Ann once asked her father what did he think she should do when she grew up. He said, “whatever you do Ann, do something of service to someone else. Then and only then, you will know, on your last dying breath, that it mattered that you were born.”
It mattered that Jesus Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary because God put love where there was no love. Jesus and yes Mary have been drawing out love ever since.
About Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C.
Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C. is Chaplain at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA. Before coming to Holy Cross Family Ministries he served as a teacher and a parish priest. He also served for six years as a General Assistant of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Originally from Fall River, MA, Father Leo grew up with eight siblings. Gifted with several languages, he is able to serve the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian communities. When he's not greeting everyone who comes to the Father Peyton Center, you can find him regularly reading newspapers!