"For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord." 2 Tim 1: 7-8
No one would suggest that St Justin's love wasn't intense. A philosopher who loved the work of Plato, he was determined to use philosophy as a path to know Christ, and teach the faith with expansive hope. Unafraid to challenge the Roman Senate and Emperor, he begged (some might say demanded) that the Christian life and mission be taken seriously, insisting that even if the Emperor decided to kill him, he could not hurt him since he was protected by the truth. Eventually, his commitment to his faith led to his death by martyrdom.
It is clear in the gospels that Jesus wants little to do with those who are lukewarm. Rather, his message and his life demand extraordinary faith in God and a commitment to a transparent life of service to those most in need. Rooted in the belief that God never abandons his people, even when they worship other gods, the Gospel paints God as a Father waiting for his errant children to return to him, and insists that we find a way to accompany one another despite the cost.
Today, let your love be intense.
What keeps you from loving God and neighbor intensely?