I recently read the Hunger Games trilogy and besides the essence of humanity that develops in the characters, the notion of sacrifice greatly affected me. Without spoiling anything about the plot, those characters who are capable of and willing to sacrifice are those who prevail. It should already be obvious to us as Christians that we ought to be giving of ourselves and that this makes us Christ-like, as we so often focus on this. However, as human beings, we all find this an incredibly attractive quality in others.
Parents know all about sacrifice. A woman goes through great, sometimes agonizing pain, to give life to her child. A mother or father will go hungry so that the children have something to eat or go without new clothes so a child has a new coat or shoes. It is for this reason parents are favored by their child and will hold that child’s love forever. And speaking from a woman’s perspective, there is something incredibly romantic about a man who is willing to sacrifice for his beloved. It can be little things, like giving up his coat so that she is not cold, or his chair so she does not have to stand, or giving up the last piece of pie for her. We call this chivalry: a man who will slay a dragon for her, a man who would give up his very life, a man who gives a woman his entire heart for the rest of his life. When a man is willing to do any of these things–literally or figuratively– a woman will swoon and in turn, give him her heart forever.
Keeping these concepts of parenthood and chivalry in mind, it is God to whom we should be most attracted. God is the ideal parent. As He gave us our own lives, He also gave us his own son. Any parent would consider this the ultimate sacrifice. Then, Christ sacrificed His own life, through agonizing pain, in His role as the ultimate knight in shining armor. He has slayed the dragon and given His life; we are saved and unconditionally loved.
Just as we want to be this for others, we have to consider just how profound our attraction to God must be because of His sacrifice for us. We have to be willing to allow Him to make us “swoon” and fall in love with Him. We have to find the same security in Him as our beloved father who sacrifices for us. Any human person should find this attractive and be irrevocably drawn to Him. We, therefore, understand the true meaning of sacrifice when we inevitably find ourselves in the position to be like Christ. Lucky for us, as Catholics, we are reminded every time we partake in the Eucharist of this sacrifice and we should fall in love with Him over and over again and give him our hearts forever. We also are reminded that Christ, who is willing and able to sacrifice, will prevail. What could be more attractive than that?