“Love is so powerful because being loved causes one to love oneself. Nothing contributes to the self-image more than being loved by another.”
Almost a month back we celebrated Valentine’s Day. A day the world rejoices with acts of love displayed through gifts and deeds. What is so different in this Love and Christ’s Love? Jesus didn’t have fancy dinner parties for his friends but celebrated the Last Supper knowing that one of his close disciples would soon betray him and yet forgave him.
In love we tend to recreate a new world of expectations, conditions and frames of various desires which depend on how we perceive the world. Love is a religion by itself which has its reflections in every walk of life. This season of lent as we aim to renew, relive and repent through acts of Sacrifice, Prayer and Love, let us dwell further into the Death and Resurrection of Christ, through which we are called to truly love one another.
The death of Jesus helps us to experience and witness a divine love that was proclaimed to a world so lost. Jesus sacrificed his life for us, throwing light on the highest form of love. Christ’s suffering and dying for us is a great mystery, a mystery of unfathomable love.
Ancient Greeks defined love into four categories- Eros, Philia, Storge and Agape. “Agape is total love, the love that devours those who experience it. This was the same love Jesus felt for humanity when he spoke of forgiving our enemies, an unconditional form of love, which is patient, kind and not jealous. Agape is the love that seeks only the highest good of others.
1 Cor. 13:4-8 speaks of love that does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 1 John 3:16 states, “We know love by this, which He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” During our lifetime as we search for our true identity, our purpose to live, a reason to love, the resurrection of Jesus teaches us that each of us can breathe new life through charity, humility and selfless love. Jesus is the path of true forgiveness and just like the grain of wheat that falls on the ground & dies and yet bears much fruit, we are all called to true repentance.
The season of Lent is a time for repentance, renewal and revival of one’s faith. For me it’s my time of introspection! Looking deeper into the kind of life we lead.. it reflects only crazy hours of work, family duties and an unknown element of confusion… it’s Jesus that provides me solace and comfort… silent prayer and coversation is all that it takes to seek peace… he went through tough times and died on the cross… he life goes much beyond than just a religion… it a beautiful and dynamic way of life… giving us one of the most beautiful aspect of forgiveness… how difficult it is for mere mortals like me to forgive someone who has hurt me… but then again.. this mad endured hours of pain and gave up his life to bring to light the true meaning of love… unconditional love…
Writing is much easier than actually practicing! We are so prone to living in a self-centred fashion of love, how are we to have, self-giving, agape love towards one another? If we are to expect the people of our community to come to know Christ, we must love them with a love that can only come from God. To love unconditionally is to live in peace. To live in peace is to breathe a new sense of forgiveness, which comes from the heart setting us free from hatred. During this season of Lent may Jesus be our constant inspiration to love and forgive through contemplation and prayer.