|JOHN 15:9-17 By Bernadette Salandy - May 13|
|2012 - Gospel Meditation|
|Saturday, 12 May 2012 21:39|
Towards the end of 2011 the country was awakened to the news of a tragic fire in east Port of Spain. The top apartments of a building were gutted by fire and residents sought to escape by jumping through windows; some made it safely but some were not that fortunate. The story was told of a woman who put her son on her back and jumped off the five-storey building to the ground. They both made it alive but she, a short while later succumbed to her injuries. This story, which touched the nation deeply reminds me of today’s Gospel passage, “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends”. Another story that comes to mind is about a young woman. She tells of her experience being the eldest in the family and how she deferred her education and entered the work place to ensure her siblings were well educated and family cared for. Later on, they in turn made sure their sister went back to school and completed her studies.
Both these stories as well as the Gospel passage tell us that we come to others with a love, which we ourselves have first experienced from others. We are able to love because we have experienced love ourselves; it brings out the best in us. I remember having a student who didn’t talk much, neither was she willing to participate in class activities; she seemed quite pleased to be left alone. When the other children would rush to relieve me of my bag, books and other paraphernalia she would just look on seeming quite disinterested. One day I decided to challenge her by giving her classroom chores like cleaning the board and sharing books; I even appointed her class prefect for the week. Within a few weeks she was a changed person; she seemed happier and was very helpful. This experience shows that love given and received has the power to transform.
Jesus, in his farewell to his disciples says, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love.” We understand by this that we give ourselves to others in the same way that others give themselves to us. It is a sharing of self in an interpersonal way. Often when we speak of love the picture that conjures up in our mind is one of peace, joy, happiness and contentment. This is true because God’s love is perfect. The love revealed in Jesus then is the ideal; it may appear to be easy but it is described as patient and kind and it takes leave of jealousy and resentment, it also delights in the truth and it endures. These qualities of love are attributes of God’s love for us. More importantly, the greatest expression of love a person can have ‘is to lay down his life for his friend.
This Sunday we honour mothers and celebrate their love, a love that is gentle and forgiving, a love that is harmonising and building up, a love that is nurturing, life-giving and constant; we celebrate their tirelessly laying down of their lives and we celebrate God who is mother.
Lord, we thank you for the joy of motherhood when we can just relax in the love of our children – truly that is a joy that is complete
Lord, you said, “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends”. We pray:
• for all service men and women who tirelessly serve their people
• for parents and teacher who strive to be good exemplars of your love
• for those who speak out against inhumane conditions under which people live and work
Forgive us, Lord when as parents, teachers and leaders we do not create an environment for children to grow in love. We cannot say to them, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love.”
Lord, raise up in all our communities whether at school, Church, home or workplace men and women who will work together to build a civilisation of love, so that we will “bear fruit that will last and then the Father will give us what we ask in your name”.________________________________________________________________________________________ **DISCLAIMER**: User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Camsel/Catholic News or its staff. Camsel/Catholic News accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments. Please help us keep our site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option. Camsel/Catholic News reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed. Before posting, please refer to the Comments Policy under Resources