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How do we conform ourselves to God - to Love Himself?

Sixth Sunday Ordinary Time

February 14, 2021 •

We know from revelation that love comes in three parts, and those parts have a specific order. There is "agapic" love which is the highest form, "filial" love, or brotherly love, and erotic love. And all of these loves are love. If you really want a beautiful exegesis on this, read Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. One of the things he points out, which was not always understood in the history of the church, is that God's love is not just agapic love -it's obviously that, but not just that - it's all forms of love. ... It's important to understand this, otherwise we won't understand love properly.

Erotic love is the lowest form, and it's not bad, it's good as long as it's rightly ordered. The easiest definition is: it's desire to possess someone or something. People think it's always sexual, but that's not true. As long as it's ordered correctly in the hierarchy of loves, it's good. God, according to Pope Benedict actually loves us erotically, meaning He wants us. He doesn't need us, but that's the beauty of it. He wants us and He wants us to be with Him.

Above that is filial, or brotherly, love. It's basically "I'll love you if you love me." It can almost be thought of as contractual, between equals. God also wants to love us with filial love. Even though He is infinitely greater than we are, He wants to raise us up so we can have a more equal, loving relationship. Filial love has to be reciprocal. ...

Agapic love is the highest. And this is selfless love, or disinterested love. Even if I get nothing out of it, I still love you. It's the highest and most perfect form of love.

Having these loves rightly ordered in ourselves is how we conform to Love Himself. God is Love.

When you dis-order the proper ordering, then you're not loving. It's really that simple, it's not love at all. It's sin.

How do we re-order our loves? That's where Lent comes in.

Lv 13:1-2, 44-46; Ps 32:1-2, 5, 11; 1 Cor 10:31—11:1; Mk 1:40-45

Homily begins at 17:49

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