6th Sunday: Love -John 15: 9-17
Today’s gospel reminds us that the greatest act of love is the willingness to give our lives for the sake of another person. Jesus defines friendship as the mutual bond of trust and affection, which people have for one another, as totally sacrificing for another person, even to the point of laying down one’s life for the sake of others. How is such love possible? God made us in love and for love. God is love and everything God does flows from God’s love for us. God’s love has the power to transform and change us so that we can be like God: merciful, kind, gracious, and forgiving.
St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is one of the best examples of incarnating the love of God in real life. She showed us that it is possible to love even the unlovable and to make a difference in this world. She spent her life picking up the lepers and the homeless from the streets and showing them the face of God. This was her source of joy. She found God and heaven in the slums and in the afflicted.
Once Mother Teresa said: “The other day, I dreamed that I was at the gate of heaven. St. Peter said: “Go back to earth. There is no slum up here.” She truly believed that the most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved. She said: “I think today the world is upside down and is suffering so much because there is so very little love in the home and in family life. We have no time for our children, and we have no time for each other.” Let us ask ourselves: “When was the last time, sitting down with our families or talking with our family members, we felt our hearts were on fire – with the fire of love?”
Real love demands total sacrifices and self-giving. Jesus not only gives us the love commandment, but Jesus showed His love by sacrificing His life for us. Let us practice Jesus’ commandment by loving our brothers and sisters; and in this way, we can remain with Jesus always.
True love and peace consist not in “getting” something from a loved one but in “giving” something to a loved one. The most familiar type of love and peace is experienced from our mothers. As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, let us remember and pray for all the grandmothers and mothers in our congregation, whether they are alive or have gone to their eternal reward.
Let me share with you a real story about Thomas Edison: One day Thomas Edison came home and gave a paper to his mother. He told her, “My teacher gave this paper to me told me to only give it to my mother.” His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read the letter out loud to her child, “Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.”
Many years after Edison’s mother had died, Edison had become one of the greatest inventors of the century. One day he was going through the old closet he found a folded letter which was given to him by his teacher. He opened this letter. The message written in the letter was, “Your son is mentally ill. We can not let him attend our school anymore. He is expelled.”
Edison became emotional reading it and cried, and then he wrote in his diary, “Thomas Edison was a mentally ill child whose mother turned him into the genius of the century.” Now we see, that even his mother was a Genius. The moral of the story is: A mother’s love and upbringing can help change the destiny of a child! A positive word of encouragement can help change anyone’s destiny!
There is a beautiful Spanish proverb: “An ounce of mother is better than a pound of clergy.” Motherhood is a noble vocation given by God. The future of the world depends upon quality parenting. We need good mothers, who can teach us values and show us, God. Let us remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, “I remember my mother’s prayers, and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.” Let us offer this prayer for all our mothers: “Gentlewoman, a peaceful dove, teach us wisdom, teach us, love.”