Pentecost +7 – Year A
"Who do you love more?" is one of those imponderable questions. Parents can be quick to affirm they love all their children equally. For them it is not a question of more or less, but how they will evidence their love in this circumstance, with this child.
Trying to parse out degrees of love, qualities of love, always runs into further debilitating debates of worth and deservedness that further divide us.
Do you love G*D more than Neighbor, self more than "one another", and any of these more than an enemy? For every ranking there is a loss. This leads us back to the mystery of one and all. If I don't love one uniquely more than another, how can I love any other? If I don't love all more than this one, how can I love this one at all. This unrelenting slide along a continuum can be a most false and soul-wrenching ride or a most life-giving reception of the depths of joy.
Hear Eugene Peterson's much clearer statement of the intertwining of lives alongside one another rather than the competition of above and below a cut-line:
"Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God's messenger. Accepting someone's help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I've called you into, but don't be overwhelmed by it. It's best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice."
The smallest amount of love (given or received!) is large enough to open a way for more.