Tuesday of Holy Week

Agatha Christie has been the most widely published writer in history, no doubt because of her profound insight into human nature. Her detectives – Poirot or Miss Marple – do not rely on minute examination of evidence, they are not like Sherlock. Instead, they rely on an understanding of the human being, based on listening to people, observing them –  in the case of Miss Marple, living in a village all her life. Often in her mysteries Miss Christie observes that human love itself is a deadly thing: disordered affection leads to death.

Simon Peter loved Jesus with a deeply human affection. Like a fire, human love waxes and wanes. In a moment of great ardor Simon gushes that he will willingly lay down his life for the Lord. That is a beautiful moment, but as is the way with human love, it is but an intense moment. In a few hours, Simon will be snoring while his dear friend experiences excruciating agony. A few hours further, and he will publicly deny he even knows Jesus.

How beautiful Peter’s love is – and yet how vulnerable, how humiliating, how sad as well. Like our loves. Jesus honors them, but knows that they are only the entry point for His overwhelming love, for the power of the Holy Spirit which will turn the flickering flames of human love into the steady, inextinguishable love of God Himself poured out into our hearts. But for this to happen, we must die: our love must be buried, and replaced by the life of the Trinity, which is itself love. And in the power of His love, we then go and follow Him.

April 15th, 2014