> Unselfish Love

Unselfish Love


By S. Eleanor Thielman

I was recently graced with an awe-inspiring conversation while attending the Life Program in Lackawanna, New York.  One day, S. Thomas, RSM approached me and showed me a sketch that Fr. Betl drew while visiting the Response to Love Center, a community outreach where a variety of compassionate programs help those in need. One such program is the food kitchen where our S. Simon George works with volunteers to welcome the hungry and serve them a hot well-balanced meal. It was here that Fr. Betl was inspired to pick up his art pencils and begin drawing this sketch of three people who were at the food kitchen that day along with Sister Johnice, the program’s executive director. Reflecting on this sketch during Holy Week touched my heart because of the symbolic message it revealed during my Holy Week of prayer.

  • The person sitting at the table with bread in his hand symbolizes Jesus at the Last Supper
  • The position of his body symbolizes prayer and reverence
  • The bread and cup on the table symbolizes the Body and Blood of Jesus
  • Sitting among the poor symbolizes Jesus and his love for the poor

As I considered the scene throughout Holy Week, I thought about the tremendous gifts Jesus gives us daily. How much does He yearn for our love in the sacrament of the Eucharist? Did He make a special visit on that day to serve the poor asking for our love and compassion?

I believe this sketch reveals the constant love Jesus has for all of us. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). When such love becomes totally and immediately real, the Eucharist then becomes a revelation of a place close to our hearts called heaven!