It is no accident that his six-volume epic poem in celebration of love, the Mathnawi , has often been called "the Quran in the Persian language. He is known by his chosen pen name, "Hafiz," a word that designates someone who has memorized the Quran. Anyone familiar with his poetry knows that it is permeated with love and beauty, so much so that native-speakers can become intoxicated simply by listening to it. Hafiz holds that all religion and indeed, all human striving, is rooted in love. One verse will have to suffice:. Everyone, sober or drunk, is seeking a beloved, everywhere, mosque or synagogue, is the house of love.
Religious views on love
Muslim scholars who talk about love as the heart of Islam and of religion generally take the position that God's love and compassion motivated him to create human beings so that they could love him in return. The goal of creation is to bring lovers into existence, and the goal of lovers -- that is, you, me and everyone else -- is to escape false loves and return to what we really love. This, for them, is the key message of the Quran, "the story of love and lovers. For a survey of the role of love in religion generally, including my own essay on Islam, see the volume edited by Jeff Levin and Stephen G.
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Those from Sheba will come, bringing with them gold and incense, all singing the praise of God. Visit these pages to remember and celebrate the lives of those we have recently lost. Isaiah, writing in a time when the chosen people were in exile and suffering, and everything seemed so hopeless, he sees this renewal, the rebuilding, the exultation of that city of Jerusalem and all nations are coming to it because it is now a light shining forth with God's presence. It is so important for us to get this sense of how the coming of Jesus is not for a few. It's for all.
It transforms our human history. It can transform our whole world and the whole human family.
New Age Spirituality and its beliefs
The Gospel lesson reminds us that among the chosen people themselves, this was a mystery that was very difficult for them to accept. That's why Matthew has the story that he has in today's Gospel. The community for whom Matthew wrote the Gospel -- this is about the year 80, so it's almost 50 years after Jesus -- this community was a Jewish community.
The other three Gospels were all written for communities where the majority of the people had already become Gentiles, or non-Jews. Matthew's community was still very much a Jewish community, and they were finding it very difficult to accept the fact of this mystery that Paul calls it, that God came for all, and not just for a few. They were still clinging to the idea that if you wanted to follow Jesus, to be one of His disciples, you had to first become a Jew.
If you were a male, you had to be circumcised. For the Jewish people, if you were going to become Christian, you had to continue to fulfill all the rules of the law. Be a Jew, and only then would you share in the blessings of Jesus.
That's why Matthew tells this story about these Magi coming from the East, probably from around the country of Persia, which is now the country of Iran. They were coming from there and they recognized Jesus as the Son of God. They fell down and worshiped him. That's the mystery, that God is now revealed to all the nations, and God has come to transform all of human history, all peoples of all times.
The important lesson that we must draw from all of this, I think, is that we, too, have to look around us and understand that God came for all and that God can work through all people of any religion, even some who have no expressed religious beliefs. This was hard for the people to accept, but at the time of Isaiah, from our first lesson, the One who came to rescue the chosen people, to release them from exile, was an outsider -- Sirus, the king of Persia.
So God is working through other people even then, and God still works through all. This would be so important for us. If we're going to work with Jesus to bring about the fullness of God's reign in our world, we have to reach out and be connected with people of every faith.
The Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society
In our Catholic church, we haven't always been that great about reaching out, even to other Christian denomination, let alone to those who are not Christians. This feast that we celebrate today and this mystery that Paul calls the really good news reminds us that God acts through all. I've had some extraordinary experiences of this myself. Some time ago, I was visiting in Baghdad in Iraq a few years back, and one evening, I spent the whole evening with a group of young people. Do you know what we were discussing and talking about?
How God changes the human family, not through war or violence, but through love. These were Muslims who understand that we can only change ourselves and our world by loving one another, without limit, without exception. When he described what he called an evil of unspeakable magnitude, the dropping of atom bombs, he said, "Who is the model for our time? The poor, weak man, Gandhi. The model for our time is a man who rejects violence, who lives according to the way of love, which is the way of Jesus, of course. Some time ago, I was visiting in France at a meeting during the Vietnam War and there were people from Vietnam who had suffered in jail and had been terribly tortured.
One of them was a young woman who spoke about her experience, and I was very moved by what she said because she spoke with such gentleness and such love, even for her persecutors. I asked her afterward, "How do you come to this point where you can forgive and love those who tortured you? God is love, and if we want to bring peace to our world, we must recognize that in one another. God is love. That's the basis of every genuine religion, all the religions that we know in the world. So we, as followers of Jesus who know revealed in Jesus and revealed as the God of love must be more committed than ever to following the ways that Jesus has shown us and to reaching out to others of other religious faiths who also understand that God is love.
If we can begin to work together, all the religious groups, and we can do this right within our own community, working with the Muslims in our areas, working with the Jewish people in our metropolitan area, reaching out to Christians of other denominations, working together, reaching down into the depth of our religious faith to that common expression of God, that God is love, we will change our world. There is a passage in the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, that shows us what will happen when all of us hear this word of God and follow it.
John the Prophet of Patmos, writes this:. God will pitch God's tent among them.
Christianity and the Religion of Love in Romeo and Juliet | Shakespeare Quarterly | Oxford Academic
They will be God's people. God will be God with them. God will wipe every tear from their eyes.