Great love – to live in the Lord’s love and to love with Him the people and creation He entrusts to us
Dear brethren and friends, our Lord Jesus tells us “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13) In this same chapter in John’s Gospel he goes on to tell us, his disciples, that we are no longer his servants but his friends, because he has revealed to us what he has learnt from His Father God. It seems wonderful to have God tell you that you are not his slave or servant but His friend, and that is what God did. The Lord God who created us, gave us life, is our source of love and existence, sent His Only Begotten Son to live with us, love us and also to save us by revealing His love. He died for us, and rose from the dead and still lives in the glory of His Father and His own glory, for Jesus Christ is One with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.
The beauty of the Word of God, the Son of God, Jesus Christ is that He “who, though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:6-11).
Having been loved by so great a Lover as God himself, there are “men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 15:26) Loving others as Christ loves us. Some men have become Apostles and elders and deacons in the early Church, as we do have Bishops, Priests and Deacons who are their successors through the laying on of hands, aka Sacrament of Holy Orders. Yet still many have lived consecrated lives in Religious communities as Monks, Nuns, Brothers and Sisters, or Lay consecrated, and while the vast majority of the Lay Faithful disciples live the most natural vocation celebrated as the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. All states of life are a response to God’s divine call to love, for we all desire love and to be loved, for the Word of God tells that “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:15-16).
Personally I have been observing, questioning and trying out the many ways of serving and living a good Catholic Christian life to find which is the one that gives greatest glory to the Lord. I have searched long and hard, I have tried out different things, served in different ministries, different jobs and fields of study, but there is one thing that I find most refreshing in life, it is as “Jesus said to them (his disciples) “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.” (John 4:34). The thing that gives me greatest joy is to first receive love from the Lord and to love Him, and together with the Lord to love all people, and to be grateful to the Lord by serving others with Him and witnessing and testifying to Him when an occasion arises, to reveal to people that they are loved and cherished by the Lord who loves each and every person.
For the basic call and vocation of all Christians is this; we are called to live a life of holiness and love with the Lord. Once this is done, can one then discern if they are called by the Lord to a particular Personal Vocation to serve and love others in a particular way. The walk is hard. I often struggle, and the solution is to find rest in the Lord who says “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) and to remain in His love as in John 15, for if I remain in His love, I will also bear much fruit but first I need to be pruned by Him. This means first having the fundamental option to seek love and serve the Lord, then both purification of motives and also interior freedom to have the freedom to choose what the Lord desires of me, knowing that it is a journey, I don’t know where I’ll be next but the final end point is I will be with the Lord and all those who seek the Lord and respond to Him will also be with Him, for He has told us there are many rooms in His Father’s house. I hope all people I ever met, meet or will meet will also respond freely to the Lord’s invitation to be saved by Him and converted by His love to be Saints praising God for eternity with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Blessed Apostles, the Holy Martyrs and the blessed Saints and Holy Angels, praising Jesus’ Name to the glory of God the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever and ever. Amen.
Blessings on you my friends “The Lord bless you and keep you: the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26).