SK’ Newsletter for February – ‘We love because He first loved us’ 1 John 4:19
My dear brothers in Christ, as we celebrate Lent this month, we are called upon to observe this period as a time of renewal for our parishes, our communities and each other. God always seeks from us what he himself has given us-so ‘we love because he first loved us’ as his children. When we are healthy and comfortable, we do not think of others-the less privileged. Today this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of globalization of indifference (Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for Lent, 2015).
In order to show love to our communities, the church and as believers, we are being called upon during each Lent, to identify the voice of God and exhibit a sense of renewal of love in all our actions.
As Catholics, the washing of feet takes place on every Holy Thursday. The washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus occurred prior to the Last Supper in the Upper room (John 13:1-17). This was a display of Jesus’ humility and His servanthood to mankind. The disciples must have been stunned at this act, but as revealed in Matthew 20:28, He came ‘not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as ransom for many’.
During this Lent, as followers of Christ, let us not be indifferent to happenings around us-in our communities and parishes, work places, social gatherings, gymnasiums, etc, but to emulate Him, serving one another in lowliness of heart and mind, seeking to build one another up in humility and love. John 13:17 reflects that when we are able to exhibit the heart of a servant, the Lord promised, we will be greatly blessed.
God is love
All human love is preceded and generated by the love of God. The Cross of Christ is one demonstration that God loves us. In our everyday life, to love others is always difficult. Being loving is the most difficult thing any person can do. We are easily provoked thereby getting quick-tempered, hard fisted and angry, whereas, on the other hand, it is difficult trying not to have a temper or taking abuse with no anger or obscenity in return.
To have love is not to be provoked, and that is the standard we must set for ourselves. We should aspire to be like Jesus – if anyone had a reason to lash out at anger, it was Jesus, since people attacked and slandered him, yet he was unprovoked.
The Scholar R.C.H Lenski writes ‘Love is not embittered or enraged by abuse, wrong, insult, injury’-every Christian owes it to God, to Jesus and to each other to strive to attain the goal of love and love completely, entirely without any excuses.
Scripture says Jesus was made just as we are, and due to that, he faced temptations without giving in, so we can also be steadfast in the daily temptations that come our way. That kind of thinking would help us to focus, get serious and expect success. Of course, we will fail sometimes but we will fail much less if we focus our lives and make a diligent effort to succeed.
SIR KT. BRO. EKOW PAINTSIL