That is the kind of love I want in my life

It was about 8:30am at Urgent Care in a town. An elderly gentleman in his 80’s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. The medico took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. Since he, himself, was not busy the medico took time to evaluate the man’s wound. The wound was well healed, and so he talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, the medico asked his patient if he had another doctor’s appointment as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman said that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

In answer to the medico’s question about her health, the old man responded that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. When the medico asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late, he replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. The medico was surprised, and asked him why, if his wife didn’t know who he was, he went every morning faithfully for the breakfast. The old man smiled and said, “She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.” The medico with tears in the eyes said to himself, “That is the kind of love I want in my life.”

True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be. In today’s Gospel, Jesus commands, us to practice this type of sacrificial and selfless agápe love as he practiced it.

Loved persons are able to love

G. K. Chesterton once said that the really great lesson of the story of "Beauty and the Beast" is that a thing must be loved before it is loveable.  A person must be loved before that person can be lovable. Some of the most unlovely people I have known got that way because they thought that nobody loved them.

The fact of the matter is that unless, and until, we feel ourselves loved, we cannot love. That's not only a principle of theology but of psychology and sociology as well. Just as abused children grow up to abuse their children, loved children grow up to love their children. Loved persons are able to love. Unloved persons are not. Christianity says something startling. It says that God loves and accepts us "just as we are." Therefore, we can love and accept ourselves and, in so doing, love and accept others. That is what Jesus commands us to do in today’s Gospel by challenging us to love others as he has loved us.

We are urged to show to one another the kind of God’s love Jesus revealed, as we live as members of St Bernadette Church parish community.


In the Service of the Lord,
   Father Thainese Alphonse



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St. Bernadette Catholic Church