“Choose to Love” by Fr Martin Loftus SDB

“Choose to Love”                                                                                                          Reflection for 6th Sunday

Recently, my grand-nephew Andrew was taking an interview for a JOB! He usually goes round in T-shirt, and jeans, and running-shoes – but that morning, he was immaculate! Before people go for a job interview, they spruce themselves up! Then they usually check with their family or friends if they look alright! Minor adjustments are made; Dry throats are watered, moist palms are rubbed. Nervousness is covered with a ready smile. The interview begins! Andrew went through all this anxiety and strain, in the hope that he would be selected for the job. And as it happened, he was successful!

Today’s Gospel speaks about choice! “You did not choose me, no, I chose you! we don’t have to turn up at an interview, to discover if God will choose us, or not! We don’t have to earn God’s love! There are no conditions to his love! To get a degree in the University, you have to pass your exams! There are no exams, no test for God’s love. He has chosen us already! This is very hard for us to take in! Because most of the love we have experienced from others in our lives, has been conditional! all we have heard is: “I will love you if…! if you do what I say; if you stay quiet; “And I will love you when…” when you stop drinking; When you keep away from bad friends!

If we could accept that we are loved by God, beyond our wildest dreams, then we could be transformed! then we could be liberated from our own smallness – from our desire for revenge – from our hanging onto hurts from the past – from our negative toxic remarks. There is an old song called: “No mirrors in My nana’s House” written by Ysaye Barnwell. In the song, a little girl is being brought up in her granny’s house in a very poor neighbourhood! She says her Granny’s house has no mirrors! one of her friends asks: “Then, how did you know what you looked like?” “Well”, said the little girl, “my nana told me! You see, every morning I would get up, and get dressed, and comb my hair! And then I would go to my nana, and I would say: “how do I look?” And she would tell me that I am beautiful. She said my skin is smooth, and golden brown, kissed by the sun! In my nana’s house, there were no mirrors, so I saw myself through my nana’s eyes, who loved me!” Wow! If we could only see ourselves through god’s eyes who loves us, what a picture we would be! For in God’s house, there are no mirrors; And we are just beautiful in his eyes, and that makes us so happy. I finish with a few lines from “No mirrors in my Nana’s house”:

“There were no mirrors in my Nana’s house, And the beauty that I saw, was in her eyes.
I never knew that my skin was too black,
And I never knew that my nose was too flat,
And I never knew that my clothes didn’t fit,
And I never knew there were things that I missed!
For the beauty in everything was in her eyes.
Child, look deep into my eyes!”

Yes! You are beautiful in the eyes of God. Amen.