Liking and Loving

Liking and Loving

by Sr. Jo Anne Kelly MMM        Ireland        22.12.2022

It was the day of the Christmas Craft Fair, in the afternoon. I had a visit from a young family, parents and two young teenagers. It was delightful visit.

The boy had a very interesting question.  Here in Beechgrove we are a community of fifty-three Sisters.  He asked, “It is not possible to like all of them, is it?”  Well, he certainly didn’t think so!  And he is right.  I am not expected to like everybody, but I am called to love them. The question set my mind thinking about the difference between liking and loving.  Loving expects that I am accepting of others, as they are.  It calls me to be kind, thoughtful, forgiving and so many other ways of wishing them well. That does not come easily. As any parent knows, loving can be costly and demand some sacrifice.

As we enjoyed tea, homemade scones and big cupcakes and chocolate bought from the Fair, the conversation turned to concerns coming from the Synod.  The fact is that many no longer go to Mass and many people think that watching Mass on the website is enough.  This also set me thinking.
Right now, we are in the time of preparing for Christmas.  We are preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ into the world.  I asked myself “Why did Jesus come on earth in the first place? Why did He come?”  I believe that He came to show us how to live.  He gave us a model of how to live as loving people, peaceful people.  And look at the people He associated with – the poor, the suffering, the outcasts of society, the sinners, the foreigners.  All those who were different in any way.  I am challenged every day to be like Him, to live and die like Him.

The Mass is important in our lives as it commemorates Jesus dying for us to show us how to live and love. At the Last Supper he said: “Do this in memory of me”. When I understand what is happening, I want to be there, in communion with Him and with the whole congregation.

As I packed up the two remaining cupcakes for the big boys at home, there were stories of long sermons and heads nodding, trying to keep awake.  As I waved the family off home, I set myself the task of reading the Gospel more, of getting to know Jesus better and to live as He showed us, living and loving.