Minute Meditations

The Joy and Suffering of Love

Jesus on the cross

Because of our free will, we cannot be controlled into loving God back in response to the unconditional love God has for us. God’s very love for humanity and the rest of creation resembles our own experience of love and suffering in our human relationships. The very love that has brought us into creation, into existence, and into the possibility of loving at all provides the condition for God’s surrender of control. There is perhaps no better example than the cross to highlight this truth.

The love of Jesus Christ that leads to his willing embrace of the crucified earthly destiny that appeared before him is both a model for how we are called to love and a revelation of God’s self-offering of control out of love. This model for how you and I are to love is not an invitation to masochism or some sort of foolhardy and dangerous behavior. Instead, it is an example of our willingness to accept both the suffering and the joy that comes with love.

—from the book The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering
by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Last Words of Jesus by Daniel P. Horan

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