My Dear Sisters and Brothers! Jesus has never separated his love for his Heavenly Father from his love for his neighbours. Jesus came to live among us because the love of his Father for the descendants of Adam and Eve was also his love. Jesus has always loved the ones whom his Father loves.
We want to love God, don’t we? However there are situations when we find ourselves tempted to abandon loving God or when we feel like throwing stones at heaven. In such situations I encourage you to turn to your heart and find in it the memory of Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane or the memory of his death on the cross. Jesus, the Son of God, was then living our human difficulty to love God in all its reality and despite everything he still chose to love God, his Father, with all his heart. In those hours Jesus loved his Father as firmly as when he was baptised and transfigured, when it was all bright and shiny. The heart remembers even when our emotions do not. Unfortunately the heart is not as loud as the emotions. That’s why we need to have time and space to remember the great things God has done for us.
Jesus loved his Father with all his soul. Soul is visible very much in all we do and say. Without soul in the body we are dead. Without soul love is a dead thing too. When Jesus was exhausted after a long day of serving people he didn’t just go to bed. He went to a quiet place to pray, to be with his Father. Did he have to? He wanted to. Looking at him praying people saw his soul. That’s why the Apostles after one such night asked Jesus to teach them to pray too. Then Jesus gave them a prayer which can be prayed when we are on the top of the world as well as when we are in the valley of darkness.
Jesus loved his Father with all his mind because love is never blind, love is never unreasonable, love is never out of control. If we call something love and it is blind, unreasonable and beyond control it is not love. That’s why a man and a woman can promise and vow to love each other during their wedding ceremony. No one expects them to promise that they will always like each other, that they will be always feeling good about each other, that they will be always excited. We cannot control how they will feel but we can control what we do with our feelings and this control is called love.
Jesus loved his Father with all his strength because love isn’t effortless. Loving is hard work. Bishop Mark Edwards once said that if you prayed well you should be tired. When after being exhausted from praying you still go to pray that’s love.
That’s why I appeal to you to treasure in your heart all that the Bible tells us about Jesus, like our Blessed Mother did. Mary treasured and pondered in her heart all that Jesus said and did. The memory of what Jesus did and said will nurture your loving God and neighbour. In the old times God gave his commandment engraved in two stone tablets. In the fullness of time he gave his commandments engraved in the Sacred Heart of his Son Jesus Christ so that as we love and follow Jesus we may have the commandment of love, the gift of love, engraved in our hearts too.
Let us turn to this loving Saviour and let us ask Him: ‘Jesus, meek and humble of heart; make our hearts like unto yours.’