JUST BECAUSE I LOVE YOU

Paschal Thoughts, Easter Musings By Fr Roderick Salazar SVD

The moon is finally full now.
It is the penultimate night of March.
The air is calm and quiet
The sky, cloudlessly clear.

Where seasons are more pronounced
especially in the Northern hemisphere
with spring, summer, autumn and winter
following one another more or less regularly,
the first full moon of spring is the Paschal Full Moon,
and EASTER is celebrated on the Sunday after it.

Such is how in the Gregorian calendar,
the Catholic Liturgical Season is set.

And so, this is the week Christians call HOLY.
It began with Palm Sunday’s HOSANNA.
It ends with Easter Sunday’s HALLELUJAH.

At the center is Jesus Christ, Son of God made man,
Divine-Word-become-human-flesh, incarnated
to show humanity the why and wherefore of human life,
accepted by some, rejected by many, crucified by a few,
died for all, and buried, but resurrected for every one.

Kneeling before Him, or sitting at study table, lying in bed
or walking around, reading His Book, thinking about life,
I ask Him why. Why am I here? What is my life for?
How long shall I live? Where shall I go when I die?
Why do we celebrate what we do this week?

JUST BECAUSE I LOVE YOU is what I hear in my heart.

Huh?

JUST BECAUSE I LOVE YOU.

Just because You love me, I am here, I exist? We celebrate?

What other reason do you want?

Why else would I choose your parents and your family
and have you delivered into this world on July 15, 1947?
The third son, not the first or the second, but the third?
Why would I surround you with all you have experienced?

Why? Because I love you.

Through all your sins, your infidelities, your promises made
but broken, your betrayals of me, your indifference,
I love you. I have loved you. I will always love you.

I have loved you with an everlasting love.
I have loved you, and you are mine.

Think about that. Because I love you is why you are.

I think about it indeed. And I give thanks.
I pray I am faithful to this love that I have received
This love that has made me be.

I pray I am transformed by this love and learn to love others.
I go to His Book and see if I can see myself, and I do.

I am Peter, promising big things but cowardly in act.
I am Judas betraying, Pharisee and Sadducee judging,
crowd crying Hosanna but shouting too, “Crucify”.
I am Pilate uncertain, thief cursing but also thief pleading.
I am disciple fleeing, soldier mocking, woman crying.

Oh may I be the three Marys and John standing by You,
helpless but faithful, tearful but there.

Just because You love me, I exist.
Just because You love me, in Your time You died
And rose again so that in my time You are here for me.
Help me please to understand and live accordingly.

It is not only the different Gospel characters that I am.

It is You, Jesus, who I must be.

I must love You and others AS – in the same way –
You love me, act and live as You did.

I must learn to give of myself as You did:
washed Your disciples’ feet, spoke the truth, from your heart
even if people did not always understand.

When I feel frightened and lonely, hurt and forsaken
let me remember that You had Your moments like these
Yourself, and so You can help me through.

This March full moon, my Lord, seems rather lonely.
Though maybe it is just I who am?

But really it does seem sad. Forlorn.
Perhaps it is because it presides over a crying world?
We had more happy full moons, did we not?

Nights of patintero or saralgohan and children’s laughter
Serenades or just cool strollings in the park.
They are gone now except in memory.

These days and nights, many have died and families grieve.
Children are hungry and fathers and mothers are helpless.
We do not know when this pandemic will end.

I lift my loneliness and sorrow to You, my Lord.
If I am who I am because You love me.
I will take it at Your word that what is happening now
is still because of Your love, though I, we, do not understand.
We trust. Which is part of love.

The night has gone deep. I feel sleep nudging me to bed.
But I must sing my thanks, my praise, my acceptance
of Your love.

Who else but Mario Lanza to help me?
He sang Serenade, and Moonlight Serenade,
He sang Beloved. Why not now – BECAUSE:

“Because you come to me with naught save love
And hold my hand and lift mine eyes above
A wider world of hope and joy I see
Because you come to me.

Because you speak to me in accent sweet
I find the roses waking ‘round my feet
And I am led through tears and joy to thee
Because you speak to me

Because God made thee mine, I’ll cherish thee
Through light and darkness through all time to be
And pray His love may make our love divine
Because God made thee mine…”

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