The Good News

Welcome to The Good News Blogspot! The Good News is real and alive in my own life. Jesus has fulfilled in my life His promise of fuller and more abundant life (John 15), a quality of life I could not have created for myself. I invite you to share experiences with me so we can all grow into the life He offers us all.

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Catholic by call, Jesuit by nature, a preacher/spiritual conversation partner by choice. Learning about getting older, learning to live in the present moment, one day at a time. Learning to let go and laugh.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A New Kind of Love

My mother (left) died of bone cancer in February, 1979. I worked in Washington, DC at the time and used to visit her and my father (below with my step-mother) in New Jersey once a month. On one visit I found my father in the kitchen making breakfast for my mother – soft boiled eggs, with a little butter and salt – a major comfort food in my family. She was in bed upstairs, and he asked if I would feed her.

I said I would and took the dish of eggs upstairs. As I sat down on her bed, we began to talk as we always did. We had a wonderful relationship, and I was always happy to see her.

But on this day something unexpected happened. It happened when I held out the first spoonful of eggs for her to eat.

A realization hit us – no words, but an experience as we looked into one another’s eyes:
I, the adult, was feeding my own mother, the adult who had given birth to me and had fed me for years. I was feeding her because she was too weak to feed herself.

This unsettling experience called something new out of me and her, a new kind of love, a new way of loving. The call disturbed me at first, perhaps her too, but it deepened and enriched the love we had built up over the 31 or so years of my life.

This was the disciples’ experience at the Last Supper when Jesus washed their feet. Him washing their feet! The symbol and the reality shocked the disciples, because it represented a breadth and depth of care, of compassion, of service they had never seen before. And the shock registered deeply: Peter cried out, “You will never wash my feet!” and we can just see him jumping back in horror.

An expression of deep love can shock all of us, because we feel that “…, I am unworthy to receive you,…” But this is the love that liberates – when Jesus offers it to us, and when we offer it to one another. And so, it is good and even necessary that we take him up on his offer: “…only say the word, and I shall be healed.”

On this Holy Thursday, the Lord wants to show us a new kind of love. We all have the choice to accept it, this most precious gift, and then share it with one another. Receiving it and giving it heals us and saves us. This is the Good News.

(The photos: my mother on the left, nine years before she died; my father and step-mother, several years after my mother died.)


Blogger Mehreen said...

Beautiful story.. it made me think. I'm a Spanish girl, and I'm a Catholic too. It's the first time I visit your blog, I found it by chance.. and it surprised me a lot.
Nice to meet you!
Best wishes.. :-)

3:55 PM  
Blogger Fr. V said...

First visit this way - saw you on Paxton Fiction. This brought back stories about me and my parents. Had the same realization moment with my mother. Odd - and a blessing. The same thing happened with Dad (actually, is happening) but it isn't going quite so well.

God bless!

10:12 PM  
Anonymous teresaanawim said...

I am a caregiver for an elderly parent at the moment. That realization of reversed roles was a very difficult one for me to accept..INITIALLY, though I cared for elderly people through the years. Thank you for this post today.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous mikeyspaw said...

An incredibly warm and sensitive account. I feel so blessed to have found your website to day. Having read all your posts this morning leads me to believe both your Mom and Dad had to be very special people. Thank you for sharing this precious moment.

11:25 AM  

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