As we walk each day in God’s world of love
There is something deep in the pattern of love that can only come through God. It is real and compassionate and has nothing regretful that would bring us dismay or shame.
When our Father sent Jesus for our salvation, it was never to punish or reprove our weakness. Within the very essence of the stripes he bore was a sign of agape love. That love can not be signed with feelings as one who seeks erotic pleasure. Nothing the world always places before us can bring the satisfaction of peace like agape love.
Agape love is the fatherly love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God. The text of Paul’s explanation from Corinthians puts this definition of love at the highest level of understanding that even the most anti-charitable person can interpret the feeling of what love really implies. (1 Cor. 13: 1 - 13).
Anytime we read the text of Jesus’ Passion it becomes a continuing symposium regarding the events that we covered last year, and the many years before. However, it should never become a boring collection of here we go again. The deeper and most endearing criterion is the love so deeply imbedded within each step he walked, every lash from a whip, the nails he endured, and the very rejection he suffered.
Accepting the admonishment from parents, friends, and yes our enemies, can become painful just because those who we put our trust in have tried to erase any goodness we might have.
Each book of Sacred Scripture brings the prediction of God’s Messiah to a destination for you and me. It could not be just a whisper in the wind that means very little when its truth diminishes with every false breath. God is the purveyor of good news and predicts only a path to paradise as long as we take hold of his grace that comes through the love that Jesus Christ handed to us by Agape love. This is the Passion of the Christ, given through the only way possible, the suffering of His only Son, Jesus Christ. If we are to show agape love to God it will be the suffering we are able to endure as well. Without it, there is no other way to reach our own sanctification.
The apostles and many martyrs went this way, not because they wanted it, but simply they did not reject the scourge that evil people following the corruption of Satanic influence handed to them. John the Baptist gave his head for the truth. St, Stephen, the first martyr for Jesus, gave himself into the hands of non-believers. Countless followers of Christ shed their blood throughout the centuries since Calvary, and these became Agape Love examples. We may not have to shed our blood but we still will be asked to give up our pride, selfishness, and hatred in the most elaborate manner that puts down people who are less than us. When we are able to give up anything that is a hindrance to the poor (spirit as well as monetary goods) then we will find the way to agape love.
If someone asks you how deep and enduring is your love, you must be able to answer directly, it is as deep as a knife cutting through the fat of my own selfishness and pride towards anyone else, no matter how often they hurt me. That is what Jesus did for all humanity. This is the manner in which I live and love!
Ralph B. Hathaway