A Love-Teeming Life

From Father Rob Merola:


When a life abounds in love, love is not simply present; it teems with it, is filled with it, is rich beyond measure in love.

When a life abounds in love, love is what people think of when they think of us. It’s the first thought that comes to mind. Not how busy we are. Not how hard we work. Oh, we may work hard, and hard work is a beautiful thing. But we don’t work so hard and get so busy that others feel like they are taking second place in our life, that we don’t have time for them, or that things matter more to us than they do.

When a life abounds in love, the first thought that comes to people’s mind is not how angry we are, or how sharp tongued. It’s not how nice our home is, or how well we are dressed. There is nothing wrong with a nice home or being well dressed, and in fact these are beautiful things. But they will not be the first thing that comes to people’s mind when they think about a life that abounds in love, in which it is love that stands out the most.

How does a life come to abound in love? What does such a life look like?

Here’s one suggestion: when we see those things happen that only happen at this time of year—the decorations, busy stores, parties, and so on– let them be signs reminding us to make this season an opportunity to love like we never have before.

Remember it’s a lonely time of year, so make time for friends. Get together. Call. Write a real letter. Send pictures. Don’t let the important relationships in your life get squeezed out by lesser things.

Spouses, don’t let time with each other slip or get pushed aside. When you are together, talk. Share your lives. Listen. Don’t forget to kiss one another hello and good-bye. Snuggle up close at night.

Parents, don’t neglect your kids. The best present you can give your kids is your presence. That’s not the kind of gift you only give once a year or on special occasions. Don’t let your children determine the quality of their relationship with you, or push you away. They are, after all, kids, and that’s what kids do. What adults do is love no matter what.

Enter into your kids’ lives. Know what they like to do, and do it with them. Sit with them while they do their homework or type on their computers. Ask them about school and friends and how life is going. Hug the kids.

Eat together; don’t skip family meals. Look for ways to make lasting memories. Don’t let family traditions get crowded out or slipped to the back burner. Volunteer. Love not just one another but “all”. Make time to give back.

However we do it, may our lives abound in love so that our world teems with love, this Christmas and always.

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  • John

    Good. And I suggest that this should have received more than 11 words…

    “Volunteer. Love not just one another but “all”. Make time to give back.”

    Step out of the tribal comfort zone, immerse into the larger community, with love.

  • Randy Gabrielse

    Interestingly, I am delivering a sermon on this in my “Preaching in the Urban Context” class tomorrow at Western Theological Seminary. I am using Luke 10:25-37 to emphasize that Loving God with heart, soul,mind and strength, and loving our neighbors produces life. I am reflecting back on how the expert in the law begins by asking Jesus “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (TNIV) and Jesus’ initial response to his quoting the Sh’ma and Leviticus is “Do this and you will live.” What I see in this discussion is just the kind of life that refer to.
    Randy Gabrielse

  • Bill


    Like it. Good premise. See how Jesus centered on the “do”. It wasn’t enough to affirm in his mind and it still isn’t. We can affirm and pray the Sh’ma every day but if we don’t “do”, it doesn’t amount to much. Life is in the doing.

    Advice: make sure you don’t leave your hearers with a list of to-dos. Push the example of Jesus, show them Jesus and then leave it to the Holy Spirit and the people themselves.

    I hope it goes well. God’s peace.