Jesus looked at the young man in Gospel taken from Mark 10:17-27 and loved him. He looks at me and loves me. I constantly need to be reminded of this. I am nothing without Christ’s loving gaze towards me. God speaks to my heart in profound and simple ways. Pope Francis in his writing ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ says that ‘if we have received love that restores meaning to our lives how can we fail to share that love with others?’
Mother Teresa is one of the saints who inspired me to give myself to the forgotten, the unwanted, the unloved. And Brendan Aloysius Gilmore, my latest deceased godfather, I called him the living Gospel and a living saint because I witnessed his self-sacrifice and love for the poor and needy, including myself. His continued love for the poor drove me mad before my conversion, but eventually, it touched me, a poor soul, and brought me to conversion. I am who I am today because Brendan was the greatest influence in my life.
Christ knows what I lack. I am a work in progress, but although I am prepared to give all of myself, I find I sometimes hold back on giving myself completely. Following Christ is a challenge and requires a daily response.
Christ wants joy for me not sadness. Sadness often comes when I cling to my own insecurities, when I focus on myself and my desire to control. Joy comes in letting go, focusing on others and working together with those around me. We could all ask ourselves today, ‘What have been recent moments of joy for us?’
I leave the final word with Pope Francis again from the ‘Joy of the Gospel’. “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others”.