A friend walked up to me after mass one day and jokingly suggested that the correct version of a statement in this Sunday’s gospel should be; “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his enemies, not his friends”.
He said this because dying for an enemy is a greater sacrifice than dying for friends. Hence the measure of love should not be based on what people do for their favourites.
This idea got me thinking as I was going through the readings. In the first reading, Peter said “God does not have favourites” because everyone is His favourite.
He doesn’t love one to hate another or hate one to love another. His love is perfect with no gradation. It is this love that prompts everyone to do what is right.
At the beginning of the first lock down, I rushed to the shops with my friend to buy some food and essentials. Of course there was panic buying. By the time we got to the section for cereals, it was empty, but thanks to God my friend was able to get one pack.
We quickly got other items and were about to go home when we noticed a woman with her little kid at the cereal section, looking worried and disappointed that she couldn’t get one for her family. My friend quickly took our only cereal to this lady who said thanks with big relief on her face.
I was surprised by his actions, so I asked him, “why did you do that, can’t you see that we are all in this situation together?”
And he replied, “of course we are all in this together but that little boy will cry if he doesn’t eat cereal tonight, you won’t cry if you don’t”.
It was very amazing that my friend was ready to sacrifice for a stranger and not for me. I wondered if I was still his favourite.
Love is not about favouring someone, it is more about doing right by someone. That is why Jesus commands us to love one another as He has loved us. The love of the father who sacrificed His son to save us from sin and shame, remains the source of true and unconditional love. The measure of love is loving without measure’.
So love is realised not in the good of our preference but in our preference for good. For when we sacrifice for all, there are no favourites, because everyone is favoured.
Remain lifted and do have a great Sunday.