February is love month in the Philippines because of Valentines’ Day. Like Christmas it is a very popular, highly celebrated (and commercialized) “holiday”. The primary focus is on romantic love (eros) and the grand gestures of romantic love; Whenever we talk about love it is hyper focused on romance when in fact it is so much more and even when we talk about romantic love, the truth and reality of it is far from we may always imagine it to be. Let us talk about not only of what love is but also frame the conversation on what it is not. As queer Christians, let us also be reminded of the “equation” of love as given by God through the Law – Loving God, and loving others as one’s self.
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”Matthew 22:36-40 (NRSV)
The formula of love that we have has always been trinitarian; a 3-part formula – love of God, love of others and love of self. The problem happens when we practice or focus only on one part of the equation.