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Archive for September 10th, 2020

Sacrificial Love

Sacrificial love … sound so good, so appealing.

It sounds like what we all could use, what we all desire.

When we are the recipient of sacrificial love, we know that we are being loved … really loved. When someone sacrificially loves us, they give us more love than we deserve, so much more than the giver has that they give to the point it hurts … and then a bit more.

Being the recipient of sacrificial love is the dream of us all. Being the giver … that is not the stuff that dreams are made of, is it?

Those of us who choose to associate our lives with Christ are called to emulate him, to live as he lived, do what he would do. That is a high calling, not for the faint of heart.

John 13:34 tells us to love one another as Christ has loved us.

Philippians 2:3 tells us to regard one another as more important than ourselves.

We see this in examples such as when someone enters a burning building to rescue another … being willing to put their lives at risk for the good of another.

We also see this in examples of people not responding to hateful comments thrown at them with equally hateful words and attitudes. People who have stuck with someone who has illness or aging related issues and cannot reciprocate the love. Those who do not give up on love, but keep loving even when there is no payback.

This is the example we are called and have committed, to follow. To love sacrificially is to show love and grace when the other person doesn’t deserve it, when we don’t want to.

Sacrificial love is the highest degree of allowing Christ to live in us, to work through us … because it is love that is not about ME.

Yet … to love another, truly sacrificially … the rewards are so much greater.

What is gained from loving sacrificially is not what the other person does for or gives to you, but the great gain is in the sacrifice that you give to the other. It is in sacrificing for another that we truly understand what it is to emulate Christ, to walk in his way.

So, our gain in loving another sacrificially is that we know, without a doubt, the presence of Christ in our life … because we have done what is most difficult as human beings … given up my rights, needs and desires for another’s good.

St. Francis said, “O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be loved as to love…….. It is in giving that I receive.”

Or, as Mark 10:45 reminds us,

For even the Son of Man
came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

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