“I give you a new commandment: love one another; just as I have loved you, you also love one another” (John 13: 34)
Anthony was the son of a middle-aged nurse. The father died the very day Anthony was born. The mother went through very difficult and traumatic times alone: struggling with the immediate pains of delivery and bearing with the gradual convalescence, and at the same time attending to the requirements for the funeral obsequies of her husband of only three years, after a well-attended society wedding. Magdalene, the mother of Anthony had no time to mourn her husband properly and this had severe impact on her life and work. But she coped and expended her life and earnings on her only hope – her son, Anthony. She showered her only child with so much love to the envy of nearly everyone who knew them. Anthony did not disappoint the mother, as he went through school in flying colours with high scores in all subjects. Gaining an admission into a University was not a problem at all and four years later, he graduated with a First Class degree in Electrical Engineering. He got a good job with one of the giant ICT companies in the country and soon became very rich. After sometime, his mother became very ill, her kidney was failing. She needed a kidney! And luckily, Anthony’s kidney could match the mother’s. But unfortunately, the luck did not last, as Anthony refused to give his mother the life-line she needed. He told the surgeon he could not take the risk. The mother was deeply broken by his refusal and said to Anthony: “I have loved you from conception, gave birth to you and nursed you dearly as a son and would a husband all these years. I have sacrificed everything in my life just so you could be the man you are today. Can’t you do just this for me?” Anthony’s response was shocking: “Mum, I know you love me and have sacrificed all for me. And you know I love you too. I have always looked after you and showed you so much care. But I cannot love you as much as to risk my life. I am too young, perhaps, you are old enough.”
Jesus invites us to love, not like Anthony or anyone else, but like He loved and continues to love us – selflessly, unconditionally, understandingly, forgivingly and sacrificially. “Greater love than this no man has then to lay down his life for His friends. You are My friends” (John 15: 3).
How much love do we have for our family, friends, neighbours, colleagues at work, teachers, and for Jesus?
May His grace be sufficient for us. Amen