Norma Jean Mortenson spent much of her childhood in foster homes. In one of those foster homes, when she was eight years old, one of the boarders raped her and gave her a nickel. He said, 'Here, Honey. Take this and don't ever tell anyone what I did to you.' When little Norma Jean went to her foster mother to tell her what had happened she was beaten badly for saying bad things.
Norma Jean turned
into a very pretty young girl and people began to notice. Boys whistled
at her and she began to enjoy that, but she always wished they would
notice she was a person too--not just a body--or a pretty face--but a
person. She went to Hollywood and took a new name-- Marilyn Monroe and
the publicity people told her, 'We are going to create a modern sex
symbol out of you.' And this was her reaction, 'A symbol? Aren't symbols
things people hit together?' They said, 'Honey, it doesn't matter,
because we are going to make you the most smoldering sex symbol that
ever hit the celluloid.' She was an overnight smash success, but she
kept asking, 'Did you also notice I am a person? Would you please
notice?' Then she was cast in the dumb blonde roles.
hated Marilyn Monroe. She would keep her crews waiting two hours on the
set. She was regarded as a selfish prima donna. What they didn't know
was that she was in her dressing room being sick because she was so
terrified. She kept saying, 'Will someone please notice I am a person.
Please.' They didn't notice. They wouldn't take her seriously.
went through three marriages--always pleading, 'Take me seriously as a
person.' Everyone kept saying, 'But you are a sex symbol. You can't be
other than that.'
"Marilyn kept saying 'I want to be a person. I want to be a serious actress.'
really killed Marilyn Monroe, love goddess who never found any love?'
She died because she never got through to anyone who understood or
In his encounter with the scribe in this
morning’s Gospel reading, Jesus reminds us also of the all transforming
importance of love, but that love is not just an emotion, but a verb.
replying to the question about what the most important of the 613
commands and 365 prohobitions of the Old Testament Jesus quotes from the
books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus:
“Hear, O Israel:
the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with
all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and
with all your strength.” That call to love God with all that you are is a
declaration of faith in the God who loved us first. It is still said by
faithful Jews each day. God’s love for us is unconditional, unmerited
and undeserved. He just loves, not because of what we have done or who
we are, but because of who He is. It is the underpinning of everything.
“You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.”
his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote: Do not waste your time
bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor act as if you did. As soon as
we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as
if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure
someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you
do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.
order in which Jesus quotes these it seems is crucial. It is not
possible to love God and not love our neighbour and a good litmus test
of us knowing that we are loved by God and loving Him in return is
practically displaying that in loving others. If we leave church and do
not display love to others in action, we have failed as his disciples.
For love is not about how we feel but about how others feel because they
are loved by God through us and a sharing of what ourselves have
received through the outpouring of God’s love for us all through Christ
on the cross. The second command is the fulfillment of the first and we
are called to follow that love...
[Here I encouraged the church to respond to the need for help that we need as we seek to set up the Food Bank]
Love is a verb - love is a person in Jesus Christ in and through you.