Friday, April 1, 2016

Friday of Easter Octave: Crazy in Love

"When Simon Peter heard it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea." – Jn. 21:7 

Simon Peter was crazy in love with Jesus. He had not too long ago denied Jesus three times during Jesus' final hours. Although Peter felt bitterly guilty about his denial, it did not prevent him from jumping out of the boat half-naked when he saw Jesus on the shores of Tiberias. The other disciples were more contained with their response waiting instead for the boat to arrive at the shore. Perhaps Peter had an insight to how crazy in love Jesus was with him despite all his shortcomings that elicited Peter's own crazed response at the sight of Jesus. 

When we have wronged someone, the natural response is avoidance. We feel ashamed, close in on ourselves, and become self-conscious. Our world in relation with that person becomes stagnant and smaller. This is even more so with the realization that the offense is also a sin against God. We may shift our attention on our own worthiness and away from God's unconditional love for us. I continue to wrestle with my inherent imperfections. I cannot avoid the fact that I will continue to offend, hurt, and love imperfectly. But how do I respond each time I fall short? Do I shrink into myself and become self-focused? Or do I run to the outstretched arms of Jesus who is crazy in love with me? 

It is God's love that allows us to choose to lovingly respond. Beyoncé sings, "But I still don't understand, just how your love can do what no one else's can." – Crazy in Love. God's crazy love can move us beyond ourselves. Fr. Pedro Arrupe SJ says when we choose to fall in love with God in an absolute, final way, it will decide everything. For Simon Peter, falling in love with Jesus compelled him to jump into the sea half-naked, lead the disciples, buildJesus's church, and die for him. How will falling crazy in love with Jesus who is crazy in love with us decide what we do? 

Lord Jesus, thank you for madly loving me. Please give me the grace to reciprocate your crazy love and share it with others. 

Michael Jamnongjit