Love first and everything follows

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Seventh Week of Easter, 21 May 2021
Acts 25:13-21  <'(((><  +  ><)))'>   John 21:15-19
Photo by author, St. Paul Center for Spirituality in Alfonso, Cavite, 2019.
He said to him the third time, 
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?" 
Peter was distressed that he had said it
to him a third time, "Do you love me?"
and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything;
you know that I love you."  Jesus said to him,
"Feed my sheep.  Amen, amen, I say to you..."
And when Jesus had said this, 
he said to him, "Follow me."
(John 21:17-18, 19)

As the closing of the Easter Season fast approaches, it is getting clearer, O Lord Jesus Christ that for us to be able to follow you more closely, we first have to love you more dearly and intently. The same reality holds true in any relationship we have: love first, and everything follows!

Because when we truly love, we can do nothing but good.

You know everything and you know how much we love you, Lord.

And you know very well how imperfect is our love for you and one another.

Let us discover again the wonder and joy of loving another person by forgetting our very selves, by having the courage to dare think more of our beloved than our own good. Make us realize that pain and hurt always come when we love because it in in them when love grows and deepens.

Enkindle in us again the fire and passion of sharing the love you have made us experience despite the fears, hatred, violence and abuse we have gone through from others. Enable us to still choose love despite all these troubles in the world.

Teach us to forgive those who denied us with your love and most of all, let us learn to forgive our very selves too so we may rediscover that power of love you have in us.

Like Peter who denied you thrice out of fears and have witnessed the violence surrounding your Passion and Death, he chose to love you in his own imperfections and weaknesses. And that was enough for you to bring hope to his companions!

Awaken our hearts, dear Jesus, to love again, to shred off our pains and hurts from the past and start living in the present, savoring the love you offer us each day to drive away the prevailing negativities around us.

Like St. Paul, may we have the courage and trust in you to let your hand bring us to places and situations where we do not want to go, always believing, always hoping, and always loving you.

We pray most especially today for those who have lost a loved one. Make us realize that love is never lost at all for in the end, only love lasts. Amen.

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