Today ends the first part of my life here in Mexico. We leave for a month of language school tonight, and in March we being praying into what ministries we do and what God wants our year here to be like. It’s been an incredible few weeks. During our time of rest, God has been growing me so much, especially in His call for me to love.
Over a year ago, a recurring theme in my prayer was to love. I often heard Jesus tell me, “Love, and simply love.” I didn’t understand then what he meant, but this last week especially it has often echoed in my mind. How can I love, and simply love?
God is so good, because while I struggled with this question I often found that the Scriptures I turned to reflected and shed light on how to love. One verse in particular stood out to me from Psalm 25: “All the paths of the Lord are faithful love.” His love is faithful–God is faithful–no matter the sin or the choices we make, God loves us with an untainted love, and continually sets before us paths that lead to him—whether or not we walk those paths is our choice of free will.
Jesus loves us faithfully. What does a love like that look like? How did Jesus love those closest to him? I recently read a quote from St. Thérése of Lisieux about this very question,
I set myself to find out how He had loved His Apostles; and I saw that it was not for their natural qualities, for they were ignorant men, full of earthly ideas. And yet He calls them His Friends, His Brethren; He desires to see them near Him in the Kingdom of His Father, and in order to admit them to this Kingdom He wills to die on the Cross, saying: ‘Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.’
If you look at a Crucifix (and I’m thinking of the one in our chapel here at the Casa de Misiones) the wound in Jesus’ side bleeds where his heart is pierced. Jesus loved his Apostles and loves us with a heart that is broken and bleeding, and yet pours out life. This is how He asks me to love, with a heart that breaks and bleeds for love of His people, and yet continues to pour out life, even when I have laid down my own life.
So my friends, love, and simply love.