Friday of Holy Week: Love

April 2, 2021

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  1 Cor. 13:13

Crucifixion, Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Sadhu Sundar Singh was an Indian Christian, evangelist, and mystic who lived in the early part of the 20th century and often trekked through the Himalayan mountains to share the good news of the love of Jesus Christ with remote villagers.  He told the following story of how creation can reflect the love of Christ, especially in suffering, which is appropriate this Good Friday as we continue to rise from ashes in order to bring love to our deepest selves and into the world, no matter the cost:

“Once, as I traveled through the Himalayas, there was a great forest fire. Everyone was frantically trying to fight the fire, but I noticed a group of men standing and looking up into a tree that was about to go up in flames. When I asked them what they were looking at, they pointed up at a nest full of young birds. Above it, the mother bird was circling wildly in the air and calling out warnings to her young ones. There was nothing she or we could do, and soon the flames started climbing up the branches.

As the nest caught fire, we were all amazed to see how the mother bird reacted. Instead of flying away from the flames, she flew down and settled on the nest, covering her little ones with her wings. The next moment, she and her nestlings were burnt to ashes. None of us could believe our eyes. I turned to those standing by and said: ‘We have witnessed a truly marvelous thing. God created that bird with such love and devotion, that she gave her life trying to protect her young. If her small heart was so full of love, how unfathomable must be the love of her Creator. That is the love that brought him down from heaven to become man. That is the love that made him suffer a painful death for our sake.’”

I cannot say anything more or better than the Sadhu has done in this parable.  My faith and my hope are grounded on the conviction that it is that kind of love, lived out in us, that will save us from ourselves and save our world.  It is that kind of love expressed by the people I choose to follow and emulate. It is that kind of sacrificial and unconditional love that the resurrection is about.

We end our Lenten journey with this blog today to sit in the silence that Good Friday invites.  I thank you, those I know and those I have never met, for sharing part of the walk with me.  May resurrections abound in your own lives, and may we all recognize each new beginning as gift from the Divine Source who created us simply out of desire.  May we each be brave enough to love. Blessings ~ Rosemary

Resurrection, Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain