John 21: 1-19 (Gospel Reading on 10 April 2016)
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?”
Lord, you asked the question not only to Simon son of John, but also to me. And it suddenly dawned upon me, that though I knew how much You love me, I wonder . . . can I say the same for you?
Lord, your love is divine and unconditional, but the kind of love I experience here on earth falls short. In fact, yours is such a high standard that our lowly human love can’t even hold a candle near.
How do I love you Lord, after suffering so many setbacks? Betrayals, rejections and heartaches. Love is supposed to bring out the best in our lives. Love is sacrifice, it is about laying down one’s life. That’s the kind of love you purported, but hardly the kind I experienced.
Lord, why do you set so high a standard? Why do you let us know that there is such an idealistic state of love? If it is to inspire me, I feel more dejected that I can’t reach your standards. Yes, your standards are too high.
So high that I am disillusioned. I struggle. I wonder if I can ever love again.
But then again, Lord, you have shown us how to love.
The standards may be high but Lord, you never focus on the end result (it is guaranteed eternal life anyway) but on the process. The process of how we can be more and more Christ-like each day. Yes, Lord. You told me to love others as you love us. You show me unconditional love when I am undeserving. You sacrificed and laid down your life for me.
Lord, if loving someone means wanting to spend time with the person through good and bad times, I wonder aloud how many times I seek your comfort when I am down, and share with you my joy at my happy moments? Do I try to seek you out, know you more and understand you more? Do I seek to please you? Do things that will bring honour, instead of disgrace, to you? Do I seek private moments just to be in your presence?
Lord God, Heavenly King, three times you asked Simon “Do you love me?” and three times Simon answered confidently “Yes!”. Can I do the same? Am I able to reply confidently and authentically that I love you, Lord?
But then, what’s the alternative? To deny you? To say that after all that you have done for me, I will reject you? NO! There can be only one answer – Yes I love you Lord!
I pray to you oh Lord oh God for the grace to love you, to be able to touch my heart and experience your love, so that I can truly reciprocate your love with my free will. And that is the most precious gift I can bring forth to offer you.
Lord, I seek your grace and mercy to allow me to spend time daily in your presence, to know you more, and to spread your love to others. Look outwards, instead of focusing on my own problems. Live honorably, so that others can see you in my actions. Love abundantly, as you have loved me.
I thank you Lord, for the grace to visit Basilica of Ars, and to come across this beautiful “Act of Love of the Holy Cure D’Ars”
“I love you, O my God. My only desire is to love you, until the last breath of my life.
I love you, O infinitely lovable God, and I prefer to die loving you, rather than to live for an instant without you.
I love you, O my God, and I desire only to go to heaven, to have the happiness of loving you perfectly.
I love you, O my God, and my only fear is to go to heal, because one will never have the sweet solace of loving you there.
O my God, if my tongue cannot say at all times that I love you, at least I want my heart to repeat it to you as many times as I breathe.
Ah! Do me the grace: to suffer while loving you, to love you while suffering, and, that when I die; I not only will love you, but experience it in my heart.
I beg you that: the closer I come to my final end, you will increase and perfect my love for you….. Amen!”
Saint Jean Mary Vianney, pray for me.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!