Sunday, April 14, 2013

Love Revealed

There can be no real love without our free will. In today's Gospel, Jesus asked Simon Peter three times if he, Simon Peter, loved him, Jesus. Of course he does, Peter says. But then again, Peter also denied Jesus three times before the cock crows. We all have our moments of weakness.

Mine came earlier this week, when my alarm to wake-up went off around the time I was carrying a tray upstairs to my Mom with her breakfast. First of all, it's nerve-wracking enough carrying a tall glass of milk with no lid. Secondly, my alarm is annoying. Annoying enough to make me want to snooze it only out of desperation for more sleep because I don't like hearing it go off.
The dogs keep Mom company

The real question you're wondering is why I was carrying breakfast to my Mother when it was
A) not Mother's Day;
B) not her birthday;
C) a regular week day work day.

The story starts thousands of years ago, when Jesus performed miracles and told the people he cured and ordered them not to tell anyone else about it. He was serious, too. DO NOT TELL ANYONE, he said. Off ran the lepers, praising Jesus. Off went the adulteress, praising Jesus. Off went the formerly-dead-and-now-alive + family/ friends/ witnesses, praising Jesus.

Now, if I were Jesus, I would be annoyed. My alarm clock going off annoyed. Mr. Incredible "I feel like the maid! I just cleaned up this mess!" annoyed. I imagine Jesus thinking, I said No! Gah. Now they want to make me their earthly King because I just fed the thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Gotta re-camp so I can re-think how to talk about the Kingdom of God. So much for making my point!

Perhaps, though, his thoughts are more charitable than mine. After all, Jesus did not do these deeds because he is a "nice guy"; he is God. Jesus is not just a moral guy, following the Golden Rule; he is God. He did not cure the blind and the lame for personal gratification; he is God. Jesus told them to pick up their mat; he had forgiven them their sins. He told them to sin no more. He had opened their hearts by action, freely and out of love.

C'mon guys, let's go evangelize the world!
A little over two weeks ago, my mom and two sisters were in a terrible car crash on the way home from Easter break. In a miraculous way, they walked away. The car is totaled. The youngest only has a few bruises; the middle sprained her ankle, and we'll watch her on crutches at her Shakespeare performance tonight; my mom broke her clavicle, a couple ribs, and has a small puncture in her lung. They're all healing well, physically and emotionally.

That night, my husband had arrived for a long weekend with me - his attending went on vacation and told him to take off the time too. No objections! Our time is so limited together. Instead, as soon as we got the phone calls, he offered to drive down with my father to pick up our three injured family members. Out of love they both acted. Freely, they drove 7+ hours through the night to reach the hospital. Two days later, they were all home.

I've come to better understand Jesus' order to not tell anyone of the miracles he performed after what happened to my mom and sisters. He didn't do it for the attention; he did it as an act of love. We've been asked so many times why we haven't called and told people, why we haven't been more vocal about the accident. It's because it was a miracle, and we're still in awe that three alive and with us today. They're alive because of the Love of Jesus - and how is that quantifiable?

Our cousins gave us this edible fruit-flower basket: gone.
Do you love me? asked Jesus; Yes, and thank you for my sister.
Do you love me? asked Jesus; Yes, and thank you for my sister.
Do you love me? asked Jesus; yes, and thank you for my mom.

Thank you for the meals from family and friends; thank you for our close family, as we take care of and nurture each other; thank you for for the nourishment your Word gives to this life.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep" (John 21: 15-17).

1 comment:

  1. So glad your mom and sisters are ok! Car crashes are horrible (had one in January). Prayers and hugs to all!