“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”
One of the sad consequences of the ‘Coronavirus lockdown’ has been a spike in domestic physical and sexual abuse. People have made excuses for leaving home to ‘breeze out’ ‘sell a dog’ ‘visit friends’, and not said, but surely meant by some, ‘to escape home’.
Today’s Gospel highlights the effects of example in households. Jesus shares with us his example of his Father’s love for him, his love for his disciples and appeals to them to love each other as he has loved them. But for so many of our Caribbean homes this has not been the example. I remember stories of family home abuse that I heard when I presented a workshop.I can only describe it as some sort of ‘Original Sin’.
This Gospel challenges us, Caribbean Catholic individuals and communities, to work to heal this ‘Original Parental Pain’, to communicate a loving Father to the many who have been so deprived. I think of Cain’s comment, that we hide behind, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’. This Gospel tells us ‘yes, we are’.