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Extravagant Love

Image by gefrorene_wand from Pixabay

Today, listening to Paula Gooder’s reflection on the women of Holy Week I was touched Susanna’s words to the other women after Jesus and the disciples head to Gethsemane, leaving a sense of dread behind them:

“That’s the problem with extravagant love, it brings with it extravagant heartbreak.”

Her words seem sum up all everything this Holy Week journey, and indeed the whole gospel is about, the call to love with all its delights and costliness.

This love is symbolised on Maundy Thursday by Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. It’s an act of love, service and fellowship that touches my heart every year. It recalls the thousands of services we are called to perform for each other every day. Its simplicity and practicality encapsulates everything from loading the dishwasher to listening to and supporting the broken hearted.

As we carry out the action in our liturgy we hear these words from John’s Gospel:

“I give you a new commandment: that you love one another just as I have loved you.”

Jesus’ love is complete and wholehearted. It takes a clear-sighted view of his disciples, seeing all their faults and still loving them. It’s extravagant and generous. It calls us to love in the same way, both accepting and giving love wholeheartedly and extravagantly. It seems to me that those are equally challenging. As we begin to celebrate the Triduum I am aware of how much our broken hearted world world needs that transforming, extravagant love.

Where are you called to accept the extravagant, heart breaking love of Christ this Holy Week?