Session 10: The Meaning of Love

Follow up resources for participants

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS TO REFLECT ON:

 

10A:

  • What is love?
  • Can you love someone even if you don’t like them? Or they don’t like you?
  • Do you think “sacrificial” love is possible? Is it wise?
  • What other ideas or questions strike you from this part of the film?

 

10B:

  • Who is the most loving person you have known personally and why?
  • Who is the greatest example of human goodness you have heard or learnt about? What makes them so special?
  • What do you think is the purpose of life?
  • What other ideas or questions strike you from this part of the film?

 

10C:

  • What do you think of the idea that God loves us and wants us to love him in return?
  • What do you think of the idea that we can know God through his Son Jesus Christ?
  • If you knew God were listening to you, what would you tell him or ask him?
  • What other ideas or questions strike you from this part of the film?

 

OTHER READINGS TO REFLECT ON:

KEY PASSAGES FROM THE FILM

10A – “What is love?”

Let me give you two classic definitions of love. The first definition: Love seeks union. We want to be united with those we love. If I love someone, I care for them, I miss them, I want to be with them, I want to share my life with them.

The second definition: Love seeks the good of the other. If I love someone I want to do good for them, to help them.

Both of these meanings are in the bible.

Jesus speaks about himself as the Bridegroom who seeks to be united with his Bride the Church.

The other meaning is there too, the sacrificial one. God calls his people to care for the poor, the widow, the stranger, the outcast. Jesus teaches us to be servants to each other. He gives us the example of his own life. He washed the feet of his disciples, gave them his Body and Blood at the Last Supper, and offered his life in sacrifice on the Cross.

10B – “How to love your neighbour”

Jesus said to his followers: “You must love your neighbour as yourself”. Then he went further and said, “Love one another, as I have loved you”. And he went even further and said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”.

There is a lovely phrase. It goes like this: “Life grows by being given away”.

The Good Samaritan goes the extra mile. His love is kind, compassionate, generous, practical, selfless. It’s a sacrificial love, but it is filled with tenderness and affection.

This is the kind of love we are called to have for others. For those we are close to, who are sometimes the hardest to love: family, neighbours, colleagues at work. For those we see each day but never acknowledge. For the unexpected visitor, the stranger, the foreigner. And especially for the poor, the sick, the vulnerable, the lonely, the elderly, the dying.

10C – “The love of God”

A lawyer asked Jesus a question: “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And Jesus replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

The most important thing in our lives is to know the love of God, and to love him in return. This is our deepest calling. It is also our deepest desire

It’s impossible to love God as we need to without the help of Jesus Christ. He is our friend, our brother, our Saviour. If we believe in him, he unites us with himself, fills us with the Holy Spirit, and lifts us up to the Father in his own prayer.

The love of Christ sets us free – free to love God and free to love others.

St Catherine of Sienna said: “If you become who you are meant to be, you will set the world on fire”. And then, when we leave this world at the end of our life, we have the hope of sharing eternally in the fire of God’s love, the glory that shines from the face of Jesus Christ.