Perfect Love

There have often been times when I would think about what Jesus might say to me when I meet Him some day. What I feared the most was that He would dismiss me and tell me that He did not know who I was. This fear drove me to strive to mend my ways and be worthy of His notice. In a way, it was a good thing, and it became a starting point for my conversion and drew me towards Him.

I have since then realized two things. That, while obedience out of fear can be a gift from God, a better way is to obey out of love. Jesus showed this when He obeyed His Father and died for us. I also realized that I cannot work my way to heaven. Leaving everything behind and entering the seminary to become a priest does not automatically get me a direct ticket to heaven. It will all be a grace. There is no amount of good deeds and sacrifices that I could do to make Jesus love me more and ensure my place in heaven. There is also nothing I could do that would make Him love me less.

In the Gospel, Jesus said that we should strive to enter through the narrow door. Many will attempt to enter, but not everyone will pass through. Following Jesus is not easy. His way involves work and sacrifice. It is not enough to just be Christian by name. It is not enough to just believe. As his disciples, we are called to respond to Jesus’ love. We must act. We follow Him because we love Him, not because we fear hell. There is no fear in love because perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).

By: Sem. Richard Anthony Lim

Today’s Gospel

Luke 13:22–30

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”

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