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Learning to be loved

One of the gifts of motherhood is that I truly understand what it feels like to love someone enough to lay down my life for them. There is no doubt in my mind, if my children were threatened, I would sacrifice my life in order that they be saved. What I feel for those two rascals is an overwhelming and powerful love. An infinite love. When I relate that back to the sacrifice Jesus made for me, that the Father made for me in giving up His Son, I am deeply humbled.

I'm reminded at this point of the teaching at the heart of Jesus's ministry: love God and love each other. Yet, the real challenge is learning to be loved. Many of us don't feel worthy of that kind of love; we feel too broken and undeserving. Those feelings close ourselves off from love, and make us put up all sorts of unhealthy barriers. When we reject love being offered to us by our spouse, our family and friends, we hurt those who love us, as well as ourselves. This feeling of being too unworthy to be loved damages relationships, including our relationship with God, who loves us most of all.

What we must do, therefore, is pray for help and hand those feelings over to God. One of my favourite prayers is the one we say together before taking the Eucharist: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter my under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” With God’s help, we can trust that we are made worthy and that we have been healed. 

Learning how to accept love is an important life-skill that we all need to be aware of. Without it, we cannot truly enter into relationship with anyone, including the Lord. We can only find peace in love if we open ourselves, our lives and our hearts to the possibilities and gifts that only love can bring.

The message of Easter is fundamentally one of love. The Easter story is perhaps the greatest love story ever told. Once we can accept it, we can rest in the love that God has for us. We can grow within the Good Shepherd's love, be consoled by it and do our best to return it.

“Think of the Love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children." 1 John 3:1

Today's Readings:     Acts 4: 8-12     Psalm 117       1 John 3:1-2          John 10:11-18

(photo: Strelciuc / AdobeStock)

Source: Fourth Sunday of Easter

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