Loving Like Jesus
Today’s Scripture selections are “rich”! The Genesis reading provides the creation story of men and women with a “dose” of the sacred beauty of human sexuality and desire. The Hebrews selection highlights Jesus’ mission as the Suffering Servant. And the Markan Gospel selection presents Jesus’ teaching on the value of marriage, and a touching picture of Jesus’ love for children and his desire that we all become child-like in our humility and openness to God’s Kingdom.
In a touching manner, Jesus teaches us about the deep realities of love and life. We humans thrive on both of these realities. Jesus lovingly witnesses that marriage is a spiritual commitment of love for a lifetime of growth – and a vocation today’s world challenges on many levels. In a deeper way Jesus reminds each of us, in our respective vocations, are called to love as God loves … faithfully … unconditionally … fruitfully.
Jesus also highlights the love and life that are hallmarks of children and the child-like. The Gospel pictures children being brought to Jesus that he might touch them in blessing. The disciples had tried to keep them away, to not be a “bother”, but Jesus wanted the children to come to him that He might embrace and bless them. In fact, Jesus reminds us all to be child-like throughout our lives!
The Scriptures highlight Jesus as the model for the love of spouses, parents, and children – all of us! We of the Passionist Family realize His love was boldly enfleshed for as Jesus reached out to us in his sacrificial death on the Cross, witnessing the sacrificial dimension of all love. Love isn’t easy in any vocation in life – but Jesus witnesses that love is possible, critical, life-giving – and definitely worthwhile!
Today, as Pope Francis convenes the special Synod on the Family in Rome, let’s be grateful for our faith, for our vocation and the growth we’ve experienced thus far, grateful for children, and for God’s love present in the people of our lives. In a spirit of child-like openness, may we seek God’s help in a deepening of our faith and our love, a deeper appreciation of the beauty of human sexuality and human relationships, and a greater respect for all life. For Jesus lovingly calls us to come and be blessed, and to live and share that blessing every day with our sisters and brothers — especially the least, the last, and the lost.
“May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives!”
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is a member of Sacred Heart Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.