The Invitation of Love — Our Response
This week we consider our response to the invitation of love. Through last week’s exercise, we know that the depth of our response depends on the depth of our love for the person making the invitation. When a loved one calls for our response, we say yes. Even when we know the personal cost to us will be great, we respond because love always draws us to togetherness. We want to be with the one we love.
This week we will let our hearts respond to the call of Jesus. We can review his call from last week’s guide. It is the call to join him in the unfolding of the reign of God. It is different for each of us. We have different gifts. Different graces have been placed in our hearts. Unique crises and experiences of suffering have shaped our unique ability to be compassionate and to suffer with others. There are special aspects of the call that are addressed to each of us, according to our age and our resources and abilities to influence others. We want to hear the call as it is addressed to us individually. For all of us, however, the invitation and opportunity to respond is the same. Of course, we will respond by saying yes. There is no real happiness in life that doesn’t involve following Jesus. The question for this week is the depth of our response — how completely we respond. We do not know all that our yes will entail this year or next year or ten years from now.
So, on one level we can make an open ended response that offers ourselves completely to whatever following Jesus might mean. But the graces of the past weeks’ experience of the love of Jesus for us may have so moved us that we desire to really act against anything within us that is worldly or vain or selfabsorbed.
We may so desire to offer ourselves completely to being with Jesus — to be outstanding, to be a sign for others — that our response is in the form of placing no barriers to our offering of ourselves. Should our Lord so choose us, we might express not only our willingness to be with Jesus in his poverty and his embrace of the human condition but also our genuine desire to enter into that same surrender of self that was his.
Let this photo of this teacher at Red Cloud Indian School represent our response to be with Jesus in being for others. Make use of the other helps this week, especially the section “In These or Similar Words . . .” Consider sharing your graces this week.Let the words and expressions of response flow this week. There are many weeks ahead to grow in a sense of this love imitation desire and to explore the depths of our offering. This week we simply want to consider the response we are being given the grace to offer.
Consider sharing the graces you have received
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Photos by Don Doll, S.J.
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