Christ has set up a ladder of love,
and every Christian can climb to heaven on it.
St. Fulgentius of Ruspe,
Sermon on St. Stephen’s feast
The message of the tender and merciful love of God has been a central theme of the preaching and practice of Pope Francis.
It is also the message of the season of Christmas.
Love has become flesh.
It is a Love that is tangible – because this Love is a Person, as the first letter of John (1:1) puts it:
What was from the beginning, what he have heard and seen with our own eyes and touched with our own hands, what we were observing and our hands were touching…
Love has taken up His abode with us.
And we are called to live in the dwelling place of love.
There is a story that Jerome tells of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, whose feast is today.
When he was old and had to be carried into the assembly, he kept repeating the same message:
My little children, love one another.
A little put off, some asked him why he always had the same message. His reply was to the point:
Because it is the word of the Lord, and if you keep it, you will do enough.
Love is the ladder that God has thrown down to us and love is the way we climb this ladder, accompanied and helped by Love made flesh.