6th Sunday of Easter:
What if you went up to a mother holding with her adorable baby in her arms and told her, “Ma’am, you’re loving your baby the wrong way!” Imagine telling a father that the way he loves his daughter, his little princess, isn’t right. Or, what would happen if you told a married couple, celebrating their 25th anniversary, “Excuse me, but your love for each other seems inadequate.” What would be the reaction if I told two close friends that their relationship was not based on love? Or telling a priest, it doesn’t seem that he really loves his flock!
The Christian always goes back to Christ himself, not just His words, but His actions. “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love”. We can not remain in our own love. Why? We are lousy lovers. We mess things up. We exaggerate love, we ignore it, we go from one extreme to another.
Christ is here to show us a love that will set us free - that brings joy and a peace that no other can. I may not think myself worthy of His loving me, and no doubt, I am not. But we have to be reminded, again and again, of His words, “ It was not you who choose me,” He says “but I who choose you.” He loves me to death. He loves you to death. You are worthy of Christ dying for you, regardless if you wish Him to or not. The fact is He did, not only does it show us how much He thinks of us in His heart, God respects us, give us our dignity, even if all we can see and experience are our wounds.
Maybe, this is why Christ, to save us from our oftentimes crude and confusing experiences of love, does not call us His lovers - He calls us His friends. Friendship, we understand a bit better than love. Friendship goes beyond feelings, emotions - it is natural as well as born from a duty of the heart - it comes to the rescue and yet it is respectful. It can be as tender as it can be forthright. Because it concerns itself with our human dignity, it is willing to tell us our faults and suffer loss to help make us what God intends us to be - to be truly and fully human - life to the full, fruit in abundance.
“What a friend we have in Jesus”.