We speak of love as though it is always wonderful. Yet the reality is that it can often be terrifying. When someone approaches you and bears their soul, speaking of their undying love for you, it demands a response. It is as though love breaks into your life like an intruder, demanding that your life changes according to its demands. While we may never consciously think of Love in this way, there can be a deep fear that we will lose something of our freedom or autonomy if we allow the love of another to take over our life.

This is particularly the case with Christ. We can find it very threatening to acknowledge the madness of God’s love shown through his birth in Bethlehem or his death on Calvary. The safest option (which has been used throughout the Church’s history) is to wrap the story up in a nice pious or theological coating so that the personal reality of this love never has to impact us.

Perhaps it is time to step away from our fear, allow ourselves to be loved, and let the Love of Christ to set its demands on our life.