"Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom."
These lines from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 give us an insight into the strength and beauty of human love. They express the difference between infatuation and love. Infatuation on its own is almost always “Time’s fool”, whereas no matter what changes, love holds fast and stays true.
The constant tradition of the Scriptures and of Christianity across the centuries has found in human love a reflection of divine love, so that what is beautiful and strong in human love draws us to understand God’s love and even God’s nature.
Many people today, young and old, but perhaps particularly the young, are attracted and even fascinated by the magnetism of celebrity: the culture, the life-style, the fame and the fortune. Yet all of these things fall within the compass of Time’s bending sickle: the do not last; they wither and fade with age. Love, however, remains and conquers even death. This is the message of the Gospel: it is the beating heart of the teaching of Jesus, who in a most perfect way has shown how human love is capable of embodying the love of God, which is everlasting and unchanging and which shines through even changing things shedding the light of immortality on what to human eyes seems doomed to perish.
The message we are called to announce is the message of God’s unchanging love made visible in Christ Jesus which conquers sin and death and leads those who allow themselves to be touched by it into the fullness of life which only God has the power to give.
Rev. Paul Conroy