No Greater Love: A Short Good Friday Meditation

When I consider the simple view of Jesus as a Friend who laughs and grieves with us, or a Mother who nurtures us, or a Father who loves us unconditionally; and then consider the great mystery of His Eucharistic Sacrifice, the incomprehensibility of Heaven, and His union with sinners through Baptism; I tend to dichotomise these in my mind: One is good in its humble, lowly simplicity; the other in its high, hopeful glory. Yet—no. This, I think, is wrong. They cannot be dichotomised; and perhaps we would try to do so because we do not understand the high, incomprehensible glory of pure and true friendship, of maternal and paternal and brotherly love; nor can we fathom the humble, condescending Mercy of One Who became Man, a sin offering, Bread, for us poor wretches. 

‘As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’

John 15:9-15 

‘Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’

2 Peter 1:2-4 

‘He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.’

1 John 4:8-11 

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