In the first reading Paul told us to “live in love;” and we tend to take that as a reprimand, as though he were telling us to open our hearts to difficult people we haven’t got along with.
Instead, let’s look at it as an invitation to have a great time. Living in love could have us changing mere acquaintances into friends. It could have us surrounded by well wishers.. We could skip through our days, saying, “It’s so nice to see you,” and “Don’t you look grand.”
Living in love makes us benefactors to people in need. Living in love would bring us to do our best to imitate what Jesus did for the woman bent over for eighteen years. Of course we couldn’t like magically cure people, but we could empathize with them.
By empathy we could stretch our imaginations to bring us to feel something of how painful people’s sufferings are. With someone like the lady bent over for eighteen years if we could imagine it happening to ourselves. We could feel what it is to never be able to look up. We could feel what it is like to be looked down on by all the upright people. Then, the lady would see us as friends who lived in love with her.