We think of love as being selfless and unsullied, but when is it not mixed up with something else - such as the desire to possess, the need to control, the need to be needed or the instinct to foster our own self interest?
In these meditations on the Passion narratives in John's Gospel, Martin L. Smith shows how, in the Christian mystery, love as we often understand it must die in order to be reborn as the grace of communion, as love set free.
As Mary the mother of Jesus and the Beloved Disciple pledge themselves to each other's care at the foot of the cross, we see Jesus' new commandment that we love one another placed directly in the vortex of his death and self-offering. Here, all sentimental or selfish notions of love are transformed.
As the Beloved Disciple takes Mary into his home, this book shows us a model household of faith from which the church's authentic identity derives its origin.
Martin L. Smith is a well known retreat leader, writer and spiritual director. Among his best loved books are A Season for the Spirit, The Word is Very Near You, Reconciliation, and Compass and Stars. Formerly an Anglican monk, he is Senior Associate Rector at St. Columba's Episcopal Church, Washington, DC.