Father William McKee, CssR

IT took place in a large sacristy of a St. Louis parish where I was preaching at the Sunday Masses. I was in the corner of the sacristy saying my rosary between Masses when a young mother, holding her baby, came in. She glanced around the room quickly and evidently did not see me.

SHE placed the baby on the sacristy table and proceeded to “adore” her. She kissed, cooed, arranged her clothes, played with her hair, patted her cheeks and kept telling her how much she loved her. What a beautiful sight!

AS I watched, I was moved with holy emotions. I loved what I saw and couldn’t help thinking that our Blessed Mother had probably done things like that with her baby Jesus. But it was real adoration.

ON another occasion I was called to bless a dying baby.  I went to the hospital and saw the parents standing next to the crib. The father had his arm tightly around the shoulder of the mother.  They were both crying and so was I when I finished the blessing.  What was so evident was not only the love of the parents for their little baby but also the love they had for each other.

IN both instances, one happy, one sad, I was witnessing the power of love at work.  And love, it is said, makes the world go round.

LOVE and friendship do not make as many headlines as hatred and violence.  But they are still the underpinnings of human society.  It is impossible to think of a world without love.

THE Greek philosophers defined love as “seeking the good of others.”  There has never been a person in this world who sought the good of others more than Jesus Christ, Son of the living God.  He not only preached love but showed it.  He showed it in the miracles He did for others.  He showed it by undergoing a painful and bloody crucifixion and He showed it by leaving a beautiful Sacrament called the Eucharist:  The Eucharist. Holy Communion. The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

TO think that He loves us so much that He wants to become one with us. Are we that great?  Are we that good?  Evidently we are, in spite of past sins.  Most people, secretly, do not think so highly of themselves in spite of appearances to the contrary.

JESUS says: “Love one another as I have loved you.”   This is a terribly tall order.  Is there a human being on the face of the earth – or has there ever been – who could love to the heights and depths of Jesus’ love?  Of course, Jesus knew this and His command to love one another as He has loved us is a gentle command to love as best we can.

LOVE is hard work.  But then, anything truly good is hard to do.  Maintaining friendships over a period of time is not easy either.  In a Broadway musical years ago the husand tells his wife: “I love you. I love you.”  And she sings back: “Show me. Show me. Show me.”  Our divine Savior says the same thing to us: “Show me.” And of course the way we show Him is by the love we show our neighbor.  He said: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren you do unto me.”   It certainly is soul-satisfying to think that when we extend an arm of love to our neighbor we are doing it to Jesus Himself .

IT is fascinating to read the Gospel of John and see what Jesus says to us: “As my Father has loved me, so I love you.”  Jesus is telling us in very clear terms that He loves us immensely.   If it were not Jesus telling us this, it would be hard to believe that He loves us that much, especially when most of us do not feel that loveable or worthy of such love.

WE can be poor as church mice, with little to eat, a leaky roof overhead, few clothes to wear and yet be rich beyond words because we love and are loved.


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