May 9, 2021 – Sixth Sunday of Easter
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/050921.cfm)
“They said if you love someone, you set them free. If they come back again, till the end, you are meant to be.”
Does it ring a bell? Sounds familiar, no? That’s a line from a popular song sung by Barbara Streisand and Barry Manilow called “Some good things never last.” Such line tells us more about love. It also tells us about growing up in life.
Because we all know, big part of life is GROWING UP. We ourselves grow up – hopefully. And we help others to grow up as well. And surely we have seen how we and others have grown up. Growing up is really about helping oneself and others to help each other grow maturely.
And the commandment of Jesus to love one another has a lot of thing to do with growing up. To love means to help oneself and others to grow up in life. Loving would involve giving oneself and each other a chance to GROW, i.e. a chance to stand in one’s feet, and be responsible for one another’s growth.
Meaning, loving yourself means not only pampering and taking care of yourself but letting go of your securities and giving yourself a chance to grow. Loving someone also would also mean trusting someone enough to be on his own so that he can make a stand for his life. That’s why, in loving someone, set them free.
This is very true in a Parent – Child relationship, especial the mother and child relationship. Because and out of his love to his children, a parent must learn how to stand back, (not to abandon or reject them) but in order to help and give the children a chance – an opportunity to stand on their own and be responsible for their own growth. Just like, a child cannot stand in his own two feet and walk, if the parent does not allow the child to stand up and walk. Mothers’ Day is thus all about honoring our mothers who loved us dearly even to the point of letting us go & grow in life.
Experiences of standing back, letting go, saying goodbye, setting free have never been an easy part of growing up as well as loving an-other. Imagine how hard it was for you and your parent when you had your first step, your first day in school, your first jeepney ride on your own, your first camping, your first date, your first boyfriend/girlfriend, your first job, your wedding day, as well as your first child. But we all know that we have to be given a chance and to go through those experiences in order for us to grow up and learn how to live life and love life.
This is the kind of love Jesus is trying to teach us in our gospel today. As part of his panamilit, last farewell, mi ultimo adios to his apostles, Jesus is trying to tell them that because of his love for them, he has to leave them, not to forsake them, but to give them a chance to practice the love he has taught them and to experience for themselves the Father’s love he had preached them. In other words, as he goes back to the Father, Jesus has given us the opportunity to grow in our faith and to witness and share that faith to others. His commandment of love to us is His kind of loving, that we are to be set free from our kind of loving so that we may grow in Our Father’s love. Out of love and in order for us to grow in that love, Jesus, as parent, guide, leader, good shepherd, himself has to step back, let go, say goodbye, set us free to love God for ourselves and help others love God for themselves.
It is just like Jesus is saying to us now, “Guys, I have already taught you, guided you what to do. I have already done my part. Now is your time to do your part. Just carry out what I have told you: Love God with all your heart and love one another as yourself, same as I have loved you. By the way, don’t worry. I will never abandon you. I will be always with you in the Holy Spirit.”
The popular song raised the question: Why good things never last? Good things never lasts… because we love as Jesus & God loves & we grow in love as well. When we love, we thus not aspire & settle only for good things but for better life with God & one another.
As we do now our part in glorifying & serving God’s kingdom by our love as God & Jesus loves us, may we learn to say goodbye to the good normal things we had and aspire, grow & be mature enough rather for the better version of ourselves in the new normal pandemic life has challenged & in store for us now & forever.
So Help us God, So May it Be. Amen.