kiss is a defining moment in the life of any relationship.
In many ways, it is the most tender touch, communicating a deepening of love that words can never convey. It signifies a basic desire to be “for” another. In one bodily gesture, it expresses respect, shows solidarity and acknowledges the supreme dignity of the physical presence and attraction of another. A kiss takes the body seriously as an instrument that has the ability to express the deepest desires of the heart. In purity, void of any manipulation, a kiss expresses a willingness to sacrifice for the other, to offer commitment, to begin to give the gift of self to another in love.
At this stage along the Intimate Path of the spiritual life, we seek to express our love for the Lord by taking his physical presence seriously and not being afraid to sacrifice, through the gift of our own body, so we can belong more intimately to his Body, his Church.
Within the local community of faith, we KISS the Lord when we yield to his infinite love, to his universal Word, and acknowledge his unique plan for our lives. We receive his KISS when the sufferings we endure are recognized by parish/community friends as being united to his passionate love for the Father and every human person throughout the world. This is how we experience the same fierce desire for communion with others that has been articulated—and lived—by the Church’s greatest lovers, the saints and martyrs.
Yet, within this growing intensity of communion, there are the risks brought on by our fallen humanity. It is significant to note that Judas’ decision to use the kiss of intimate friendship to betray Christ was the ultimate mockery of the Lord’s full offer of love to him personally. Full of manipulation, Judas’ kiss became a power grab through which the Roman soldiers seized the Master to accomplish Judas’ will. Christ understood Judas’ kiss as a refusal to love in purity. His reaction was personal and aimed right at the heart: “are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Lk 22:48)
Christ’s pure communion of intimate discipleship within the Church is given for others, as a witness to a new humanity out in the world. From this communion comes vocation and mission as we are given to see and passionately embrace our destiny from the Father in Christ.
Are you ready to participate in the KISS between the Bridegroom and his Bride?