I'm thinking about family, love and sacrifice today - only fitting, I think, considering it's the day we remember the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us. As if dying to save us from our own sins and give us a chance at eternal life wasn't enough, he set an example for us, showed us how to love: Sacrifice.
For my part, I believe that love is the ability to bear our crosses, whether great or small. ~St. Teresa of Avila
As anyone who is a parent or has been married can tell you, love is about sacrifice. I'm talking about love, the verb. It's all well and good to talk about how much you love something, but real love is about doing, showing. Something simple like picking up after someone (and biting your tongue about it)...giving up your time for something they enjoy or care about...taking turns with an odious chore like changing diapers or taking out the trash...giving words of encouragement, support, sympathy, interest...
Want to improve your relationships? See love as a verb rather than a feeling. ~ Stephen R. Covey
True love is not in word only but also in action and truth. ~ St. Colomban
Jesus loved big - his sacrifice wasn't just for his close friends and family, but for everyone - past, present and future included. We should love big, too - not just our friends and family, but our neighbors, the whole world, past, present and future. Our different loves should complement each other, even compound each other into more love, not be at the expense of one or another, or cause pain.
We sin from two causes: either from not seeing what we ought to do, or from not doing what we see ought to be done. ~St. Augustine
During his life on earth, Jesus also showed us that it's important to take time for ourselves (his retreat into the mountains and slipping away from the crowds) so that we don't drain ourselves dry, unable to give to others because we have nothing of ourselves left to give. I think God gives us each a mission, some talent or passion or drive, and it's up to us to figure out how he wants us to use it. It's not always easy - at least for me. But you have to take time to listen to him and to develop or use whatever it is he gave you.
Do not be afraid, Christ can fill your heart's deepest aspirations! Are there dreams that cannot come true when it is God's Spirit who inspires them and nourishes them in your heart? Can anything block our enthusiasm when we are united with Christ? ~Pope Benedict XVI
Jesus had a job, hobbies, and friends. He listened to his mother, attended weddings, celebrated and drank wine. He also suffered, cried and prayed. He showed us how to live in love, let us know it was okay to celebrate and have fun, and that even he wasn't immune to heartache and despair. He loved his life on earth, and yet he gave it all up for us and showed us there was something even better.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have enternal life. ~John 3:16
Have a blessed and joyous Easter!