As I explained this to the class one young lady jokingly protested, ‘But when I’m passionately in love with someone I’m not suffering!’
‘Then you’re obviously not doing it right,’ I replied, ‘What about the sighs, the tears, the sleepless nights, the stress, the fear of rejection…?’
The link between Love and Suffering is one that seems to have been missed also by the advertisers who claim to be ‘Passionate about Quality’, or service, or chocolate, or whatever. Where is the suffering in their ‘passion’?
If you look again at the account of Jesus in Gethsemane – in Luke’s Gospel, maybe – you’ll see that he certainly had his share of stress, tears, sighs and fear. Jesus knew what was coming. He had seen crucifixions before. To stay in Gethsemane, knowing that Judas and the guards were on their way, would inevitably lead to beatings, mockery, torture and death. No wonder ‘his sweat was like great drops of blood…’. The anticipation of what would happen over the coming hours must have been truly horrifying. It would have been so easy just to forget the whole thing, leave the sleeping disciples, slip away in the darkness and go back to being a carpenter.
And yet he did stay. Because of love.
In Jesus the link between love and suffering is very clear. His love – his passion – for us was so deep it led him to make that sacrifice.
And the slogan in the Supermarket can be a reminder of that each time we see it.