Saturday 21 February 2015

Friday of the 7th Week of Easter

Some of us are fortunate to have parents who love us a lot. Sometimes we may not necessary hear our parents say the words "I love you," but they would go out of their way to show their love. This is especially true among Asian parents, who are usually uncomfortable in using such words, but they would show much love and affection to their children. But do we love our parents in return? There are some who have received much love from their parents when they were young, but when their parents are old and are unable to care for themselves, what happens? How many children are willing to care and love their parents in their golden years? How many children are truly grateful and appreciative towards their parents for the love and sacrifices their parents had showered on them? How many children are really willing to go out of their way to love and care for their parents, just as their parents had done for them when they were young?

In today's Gospel, Jesus asked Peter 3 times whether Peter loved Him. When Jesus was on trial, Peter had denied knowing Jesus but Jesus did not hold that against him. Instead, Jesus was trying to help Peter come to terms with what it really means to love. Love is not just words, since anybody can just say things without meaning it. Instead, love requires action, and in the case of Peter, Jesus had entrusted the care of His sheep to him. Not only that, Jesus reminded Peter: "I tell you most solemnly, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go." This shows that ultimately, Peter would be expected to love till it hurts, to love even to the point of death.

What about us? Are we willing to love till it hurts, even to the point of death? Are we willing to go through all the effort and trouble to love our parents and care for them as best we can, just as they had done so for us? Sometimes it seems convenient to just do the minimum and get on with our own lives, but are we truly being loving, or are we just trying to shirk our responsibilities? If Jesus were to ask us: "Do you love me?" the way He asked Peter 3 times, what would our honest response be?

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