Yes! It’s easy to throw around terms such as “perfection”, “holiness”, “justice”, “righteousness”, etc, but what do they really consist of? What do they “look like”? Sometimes we might be prone to put on our most pious stained-glass saint look, or do this or that, thinking at the time that we’re coming off pretty saintly ourselves. But in the end the humble little virtue called* love* defines those other terms.
And it almost seems to be pushed off in the corner sometimes. Protestants so often seem to be proclaiming the virtue of faith as the highest. And we might look for wisdom and knowledge and our own glory in one way or another, but at the very heart of everything Jesus said and did was His love for humankind, because He’s God, and “God is love” to quote St John, and we’re to be transformed into that very image (2 Cor 3:18).
One problem is that we tend to desire self-glory, and love will have none of that, being patient, kind, self-sacrificing, etc, as 1 Cor 13 describes it. St Paul goes on in that same chapter to tell us that, “…if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” And a little later, “Now these three remain, faith, hope, and love, but the most important of these is love.”
And this is why the greatest commandments are what they are. And the crucifix, BTW, is nothing if not a blaring statement of God’s very nature and self-sacrificial love for man-it’s all about what He’s willing to do for us. In the end Christianity is all about love. That’s how the New Covenant prophecies are fulfilled; that’s how ‘the law is written on our minds and placed in our hearts.’ Jer 31. Because love, as we know, fulfills the law. Rom 13:8