Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ultimately the greatest gift is Love and fullness of life

Christ's heart was pierced with the soldier's lance after He had accomplished his mission on earth by dying on the Cross. He let His Heart be pierced and be opened wide so that the fountain of grace and mercy, the fullness of what He is about would flow freely from His Heart to the world so that the world would bear fruit and that fruit is love. Love that made Him come down from above and became one of us, man except sin;  love that kept him silent amidst all the afflictions He endured from his own people and even from his trusted friends who left Him alone. Betrayal did not prevent Him from loving. He did not open his mouth when He was mocked; reviled; questioned for all the good things He did to others. He knows what He is all about. There is no need for Him to defend Himself. Humility is to do good and then disappear, keep silent. There is no need to depend anything when one is doing good things out of love. Love is to depend those who are oppressed and mistreated, those that come your way and ask for help, but not ones self. “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of Heart.” He says. He knows that what was going to happen to Him by emptying himself and becoming man was part of the big plan of his Father who loves Him and who loves us very much to the point of sacrificing Him, the only Son. Yes, everything was part of the plan of Love. He knows, that is why, "He loves his friends to the end..." He knows everything is bound to happen -- He, the Son of the most High God became man so that in our humanity, he can transform us and be with Him in the fullness of life in his divinity. That is all it is all about. He spared nothing to give us the Way back to the Father.... because He loves us.

Love is the greatest gift we can give and receive. The fullness of life and  pure joy can only be achieved through love. But love is a decision. True love is not merely an emotion, it goes beyond. That is why a person who desires to give the ultimate Gift has to be free to make a decision, for to love is to will the good of the other. It will require sacrifice on the giver's part, for sacrifice is part of loving. We let go of something good for greater good because we want the best for the other person- to possess the fullness of life, the joy of being united with Love himself for eternity. It is fitting then that if we wish to follow the way of true love in Jesus Christ we should not hesitate to open our hearts to love. Love in God's love, without reservation, no expectation, detached... even it will cost us. For only in giving fully and unreservedly can we find true happiness, one that transcends human emotion. It's like shedding tears while experiencing peace and joy from knowing you have loved and spared nothing in loving, This is the ultimate gift a person can give to the other.

But be warned, love and you will get hurt. You will know that you truly have loved when it cost you, when it hurt. One who experiences life fully given for love would know that pain is part of loving. Jesus knew that pain when His love was repaid by death...on the Cross. But in that pain comes about joy, a profound joy of knowing the wisdom of love."Father, it is accomplished." I rather trod the limit and boundary of true and unselfish love, self-sacrificing love and get hurt than be afraid to get hurt and not to love at all because I know I am moving toward an everlasting experience of pure love, one that will give me deep joy and that will sustain my journey towards Love Himself, a love that endures. I know I am loved by Him even before I became aware of it and the only way I can show my deep gratitude is to offer my unworthy love as an instrument of His love for others and thus return His love for love. Until my journey is over, may I never grow weary in letting my heart be wide open that I may love in Christ’s love. Jesus assures us, "remain in me so that your joy may be full." That  fullness of life is a joy forever. 

Jesus said, "Greater love has no man than this, than to give his life for his friends..." then He turned to Peter, "Do you love Me?" And Peter replied, "O Lord, You know everything; You know that I love you" (John 21:17). According to St. Augustine, "feed my sheep", was Jesus' way of telling Peter to offer yourself in sacrifice for my friends. Peter, his friend who loves him so much yet denied him three times. Yes, Jesus chose him to take care of his "sheep". "I have prayed for you Peter that your faith may not fail. So that when you have turned again, you will  strengthen your brethren." Yes, Jesus knows one's heart, His love endures. (Lk 22:32)

In final analysis,  pure love is when our love " bears all things, hopes all things, believes all things and endures all things" (1 Cor 13:7)  ... for the greater good. "It is by following Christ in a life fully given that a Christian may and should make his own sacrifice, his own death an act of life, an act of love until the end," ... (Bishop Heckel, SJ),  
...with the hope of obtaining the fullness of life.

Thank you very much for visiting my Gift journey. This is the final post that concludes "The Gift" blog. 

I will be starting a new blog  which I named Thresholds

May you embark the journey with me on the "thresholds" soon.

- Dan