The WORD in Other Words by Fr Reynaldo Jimenez SVD (Philippines)
Thursday Week 5 Easter, Acts 15:7-21, John 15:9-11
On October 17, 1996, Brother Richie Fernando, a young Filipino Jesuit seminarian, saw one of his Cambodian students pull out a live grenade. Without hesitation, Richie pushed the students away from the grenade and covered it with his own body and the grenade exploded killing him instantly. Richie was 26 years old. His cause for canonization has started.
John tells us to love unconditionally! Love is not something we merit nor earn nor do halt—heartedly. Love must be freely given without any condition. Is it truly a possibility, to love without counting the cost? In a way this makes God powerless before our own rejection. He announced his unconditional love and even sent Jesus to show us the depth of His love by dying on the cross while we still refuse to listen and obey him.
Richie shows us that we are also capable of unconditional love. He had just arrived in Cambodia. There was no other explanation of his action except his faith conviction of unconditional love. We may not be called to dramatically sacrifice our lives as Richie did. However, we will be asked to respond in love to day—to—day situations we find ourselves in. Every person we see in need is God calling us to minister to him in that person. May love rule our hearts and in the hearts of all!