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Fr. Paul Schenck: Learning the Way of Love From the Jesus Who Still Reaches Out to Us

By Fr. Paul Schenck
January 10th, 2014
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There is only one way out of this threatening storm of lovelessness: to reach out to the God-who-is-love-himself and ask Jesus into our hearts and lives and let him calm that storm of emptiness and take us into his own truly loving embrace. That alone will meet our deepest need, answer to our nature and fulfill our longing. Those in the boat, who had failed to recognize the Lord of Love in the Eucharist, whose hearts were hardened and had lost all hope, were completely astounded, when Love himself personally came to them and calmed their fears. We too will find true and lasting, everlasting, Love -  when Jesus personally comes to us.

Fr. Paul Schenck: Learning the Way of Love From the Jesus Who Still Reaches Out to Us

WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - (Note from Deacon Keith Fournier, Editor in Chief: Fr. Paul Chaim Schenck is a tremendous homilist. He recently preached this homily to a gathering of the Knights of Malta at Holy Mass. The readings of the Mass of the day were 1 John 4:11-18, Psalm 72 and Mark 6: 45-52. The homily reflects a preaching style which allows the Word of God itself to speak to us while the priest or deacon simply breaks it open. We are fortunate to have priests like Fr Schenck to remind us that Jesus is still in the boat, and there in every storm, reaching out to each of us). 

.if we love one another, God remains in us.

Love, consciously or subconsciously, is the perennial pursuit of humanity. Just watch the news, listen to the radio or surf the net: it's a story of a hook-up, a break-up, a wedding, a divorce, a song about love or the lack of it.

What is this about, but the relentless pursuit of what it means to love and be loved? In the end this frenetic, sometimes bitter and rancorous contest over the meaning of love demonstrates that human beings cannot get along without knowing genuine love. Notice too that the debate over love, within families, between friends, among politicians or in the media, almost always is linked with the subjects of "marriage", so-called "gay-rights", gender-identity, so-called "reproductive rights", adoption, and abortion. Why? Why is all this constantly being discussed and debated?

Because it all has to do with what it means to love and to be loved. We human beings are constantly looking for assurance that we are loved and capable of loving. This is in our very nature. And why is it our nature? Because we are created in the image and likeness of the God who is love himself.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

Remember the old country western song, "Looking for love in all the wrong places"? That's where the trouble begins: we try to find love apart from God. We go after sexual gratification, and that eventually fails to fulfill that inner need, so we insist on changing customs and mores, but that doesn't fulfill that hole in our hearts, so we go after public policy and politics but that doesn't work either. We find ourselves running away from God, who is love himself, trying to find love in all the wrong places.

He shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.

This lack of love has real and often dire consequences for our lives. In our failure to find genuine, meaningful and eternal love, we may become desperate and despairing. Love becomes illusive, taunting and, we think, unrealizable. Without love we lose any real meaning in ourselves, our relationships and even our lives. How many stories of lost, unrequited or betrayed love, end in hatred, murder, suicide and abortion?

When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore.Then he saw that they were tossed about.

So many looking for love are tossed about from one disappointing relationship to another, from this hook-up to that hook-up, one attempted marriage to another, each one less satisfying, and life becomes a tempestuous sea of loveless disappointments. And then, fear takes over: fear that there is no real love to be found. And so despair enters and life becomes meaningless and so can and must be rid of. The so-called "unwanted child" is wrongly seen as the evidence of lovelessness and so must be disposed of. Tragically, this happens hundreds of times a day in this country alone! Such despair, such hopelessness, so little love!

"Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" He got into the boat with them and the wind died down.

There is only one way out of this threatening storm of lovelessness: to reach out to the God-who-is-love-himself and ask Jesus into our hearts and lives and let him calm that storm of emptiness and take us into his own truly loving embrace. That alone will meet our deepest need, answer to our nature and fulfill our longing.

Those in the boat, who had failed to recognize the Lord of Love in the Eucharist, whose hearts were hardened and had lost all hope, were completely astounded, when Love himself personally came to them and calmed their fears. We too will find true and lasting, everlasting, Love -  when Jesus personally comes to us.
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Fr. Paul Schenck, a Priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA., is the founding Director of the National Pro-Life Center (NPLC) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Center gives the Justices of the Supreme Court, their high level staff, members of the federal judiciary, members of the US Senate and other public policy makers the information, education and inspiration they need to better form their consciences so they will make better decisions. He is a Champion of the Pro-Life movement.

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