Reduced To Love (John 13:34)
I recently read a reflection on the “New Commandment” which Jesus bequeathed upon us –those final Words which gives focus to everything he stood for: ‘I give you a new commandment: love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.’
The unnamed author concluded his refection with a simple five word prayer which is still stirring my heart: “Jesus, reduce me to love!” An entire book begs to be written to release the power –the profundity- of this little prayer.
2COR 6:6 reads: We prove we are God's servants by our purity, knowledge, patience and kindness; by a spirit of holiness, by a love free from affectation. Affectation is a behavior which is assumed, or put on, as opposed to unpretentious. Love wrapped in affectation is an act, by design, to impress others. If we love as Jesus loves, then we are reduced of our need for appearances; we are stripped of Self’s hidden motives, its desire for reciprocation, its need for appreciation.
This is all impossible -to love as Jesus loves- unless we first have received his Love, the very Love his is commanding us to give away. To love as Jesus loves is to love with the Love we receive from Jesus. It is as if our love is stripped of our face and cloaked with the touch of Jesus -devoid of an earthly source, free of Self’s stain. By the Grace of his Spirit, our Love, truly given, becomes Pure-Gift.
How else is it possible to love the Loathsome, to love when no love is felt, indeed, to love when we desire to hurt? It is possible only because Jesus is Ever Present –ever giving us His Love that we may give it away. This is the Will of God –to be so surrendered to his Spirit, that we are Reduced to Love.
In surrendering her Self to God, to his Holy Spirit, Blessed Mary became the Mother of God. Her yes put Flesh onto her God. She gave us Jesus, the Greatest Love the world has ever known. Her selflessness became Love, it became Jesus, who is Love –the Glory of Humanity Revealed. Her Love, Jesus, allowed us to see for the very first time, to find the meaning of Life, to find the Way to Love Eternal.
“Behold your Mother.” Christ spoke from the Cross. In giving birth to The One, she has given Life to all. From my sinfulness I cry, oh Lord: Make me like her. Remove from me everything that blocks the flow of your Love into my heart. I too want to be a Vessel Of Love. Jesus, reduce me to Love!