What the world needs now

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No not just for some, but for everyone...

This song, part of the soundtrack to my early childhood, lodged itself in my head the other day. When June began I saw various social media posts about this being the month of the Sacred Heart. Was it my imagination, or were there a few more than in previous years? And was there just a bit more emphasis than usual on the centrality of love in the Heart of Jesus? Whether fanciful on my part or not, I was delighted to see reminders that we have a whole thirty days specifically focused on the Heart which is all Love; its source and its outflow.

Then yesterday, when I saw tweets and posts about Corpus Christi... immediately I saw love - explicitly and implicitly - at the heart of them. Does all this, I wonder, come from a universal need and deep hunger for more love, in the face of so much that is cold, relentless and cruel? A yearning for compassion and kindness, relationship and connection; a need, quite simply, to know love... not just for some, but for everyone?

What the world needs now is love, sweet love... - but no, it is NOT the only thing that there's just too little of! Love, to borrow from another song, is all around! Call it dedication or concern... call it kindness, generosity, compassion or tenderness... selflessness, service or self-sacrifice... it is all LOVE, overflowing from the open Heart of Jesus. There is not too little love; there can never be too little, as long as there are people who embody love in its many guises.  

Meeting some of these people, many of them volunteers, is one of the privileges of my work. The other evening we came together on Zoom to celebrate this golden thread which runs through our society, and through the best of our humanity (to quote Cardinal Nicholls' address to the event). It was a warm-hearted, friendly, humorous evening, bringing together people from parishes, projects and schools, celebrating - as one attendee tweeted - so much commitment, creativity and sticking-power, people working to build a more just society, especially in the darker days of Covid-19. It was an event when we celebrated love, lived in action, dedication and care; love not just for some, but freely, generously, widely offered... when we celebrated the best of our humanity, extraordinarily embodied in some very ordinary, and often very modest and self-effacing people. 

What the world needs now is love, sweet love... And thank God, as long as there are people on this planet there will never be too little of it. There can also never be too much: however much love is poured into the world, it will always expand, stretch out, be open and opened to receive more. The call and the challenge for all of us is to step forward in this love, and be part of what our blessed and broken world most hungers and yearns for, wherever and however we can.