For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
If you have ever been in love, then you understand the Christian life, as it is to be in love. Your “love” is not some burdensome duty you perform, but a delight you enjoy. That’s the reason you pick up flowers on the way home, fix a special dinner, don’t press an argument, and wait for long hours in a hospital room. You are in love! Countless times during the day you think of your beloved and delight to tell others of your love. Christians in the Book of Acts were not known for their theology or fine arguments, but for their love. They were compelled by love.
We see this in today’s scripture as the apostle Paul writes, “Christ’s love compels us.” Grammatically, such a compelling love could either mean Christ’s love for us or our love for Christ. But Paul’s wording in other passages makes this only mean Christ’s love for us. (Romans 5:5; Romans 8:35; 1 Corinthians 16:24; 2 Corinthians 13:13). Our love is an echo of Christ’s love for us. The apostle of love, John, says as much: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Christ demonstrated His love by giving Himself to die for us; knowing that love compels Paul in his own labors of love and self-denial. That love transformed Paul as he discovered that Christ’s “…yoke is easy, not because it is a lighter yoke, but because it is padded with love. And that makes all service a sacrament, and the surrender of my own will, which is the essence of obedience, a joy.” (Alexander Maclaren, Expositions of Holy Scripture: Romans and Corinthians)
Read Saint Augustine’s spiritual memoir, Confessions, and you see a life transformed by the incomprehensible love of Christ. Augustine knew of what he wrote in saying, “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him the greatest adventure.”
Father, our hearts long for the ‘greatest’, divine romance, that great adventure of living. So, root and ground us in Christ’s compelling love that our lives are set afire by love. Amen.
A fellow traveler,