Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
May 7th, 2010

Janine ter Kuile

Financial Aid Office
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Friday in the Fifth Week of Easter
[289] Acts 15:22-31
Psalm 57:8-9, 10+12
John 15:12-17

When you were a child, did you hear the old saying… “for the love of God!”? Today’s Gospel opens and closes with the command, “Love one another”.  Obviously that is the theme.  Jesus gave His life to friends and non-friends alike. Not something many of us know much about.  His was a sacrificial love few of us understand.  In other words, modern-day LOVE takes on an ephemeral quality, something written about in songs for young lovers, romantic melodies to slow-dance to, not one tied to reality.

So what is ‘for the love of God’? Google says, ‘sacrificial love is self-sacrifice with the pure motivation to alleviate the suffering of others. This supreme love is suffering love, love that requires involvement in the knotty problems of the world, love that bears with the failings and weaknesses of others, love that is committed to helping others regardless of the cost’.  An experience that brought me closer to this, were the years I spent working with African youth refugees, here in Omaha.  Out of the blue one day, the deacon at my church said, “You are a saint”, to which I interpreted him to mean, ‘You are crazy!’  Yet I was crazy in love about these people!  I knew God so loved me to open that door.

 The other day I rushed to the hospital after learning my daughter had had a seizure.  That evening I suffered my love for her, not knowing if this would happen again.  Strangely I felt I was sacrificing her at the altar, and I recognized my love for her deepened in a new way.  We’ve all experienced that kind of love.

I also feel love when I am with people who suffer in a way I don’t understand.  When I travel to Congo this summer, I will come face to face with women who suffer unimaginable atrocities.  Just thinking about them puts me in a place that calls to sharing in Jesus’ divine life.  When He said, “I have told you everything I have heard from my Father”, He alludes to the very nature of God.  As He reveals His Father, He shows us a loving community of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It is an intimacy, so loving, we can never know the depths of God’s love, His Son, until we meet Him face to face. 

Creighton educators, Vasant and Prafulla Raval share in their newly published book ‘Finding Soul in Work and Life’, ‘that you only need to develop the power of self-observation to comprehend the cause of suffering of both self and others.  Beware, it is a painful exercise initially.  It will require sacrifices.  No gurus, no mantras, no rituals allowed…
Lay down your life?…bring someone into the intimate life of God.

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