Recently I was at a restaurant with a friend. After the folks at the table close to us got up, they came by. The man said something like, “You know what your problem is?” I said, “I know of a few but would love to hear what you think it might be.” He said, “You Catholics–it’s all about theology and dogma.” I said, “Funny, I thought it was all about love.” I wish I had remembered then something the pope said a few months ago. He said that every commandment (like the commandments we hear about in our first reading today), every law (like the ones the psalmist is praising in our psalm today), every rule, every piece of doctrine–all of it is a function of God’s love. That is the love we see in our Gospel today. Jesus tells us our love should be strong enough to encompass even our enemies. We are to love. To love. To love.
Folks, that is the one vocation to which everybody is called. The vocation to love. Today we run for vocations–to the priesthood, to the religious life, to the married life–but we are ultimately running and supporting the cause of our common vocation to love. All the other vocations and subvocations, they are all at the service of our call to love. Today we pray for that vocation to be lived fully by everybody around the world, starting with us.
We pray for that. And we run for it.