The Sacrifice of Love

Dear children! I wish to thank you for all the sacrifices and I invite you to the greatest sacrifice, the sacrifice of love. Without love, you are not able to accept either me or my Son. Without love, you cannot give an account of your experiences to others. Therefore, dear children, I call you to begin to live love within yourselves. Thank you for having responded to my call. March 27, 1986

Today’s Mass readings emphasise how the fullness of love is manifested through sacrifice, and how surrender of oneself becomes a witness to others. 33rd week in Ordinary Time, Year 1, Tuesday

In the first reading, Eleazar is put to death because of his refusal to eat the flesh of pigs, but in reality it is because of his love for the Law of God and for the awe God inspires in him. His sacrifice is recognised as “an example of nobility and a record of virtue not only for the young but for the great majority of the nation.” 2 Maccabees 6 : 18-31

The Gospel Acclamation is a reminder that “God so loved us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.” The Cross is always a witness to God’s love. 1 John 4 : 10

And the Gospel illustrates how, for the love of Jesus, the tax-collector Zacchaeus is prepared to give half his property to the poor, and to pay back four times the amount to anyone he may have cheated. Luke 19 : 1-10

Our Lady speaks of sacrifice in many of her messages from Medjugorje. The call to fast, preferably on bread and water, on Wednesdays and Fridays, is perhaps the sacrifice that most challenges us. But for whatever sacrifice that we are prepared to make and offer, the Blessed Mother always expresses her gratitude with the words: “Thank you for responding to my call.”

A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. John 15 : 13

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