top of page
  • Nico Quintos

Laying Down One's Life in Love

D-Day, June 6, 1944, will forever be remembered as the day when the most daring deed for freedom was performed.

208 paratroopers and 11 officers jumped to spearhead the liberation of Europe. These men understood that many of them would die either in the air or upon their landing on the enemy field. They went ahead with faith in their cause, not wanting to die but willing to die for freedom.

Only 69 of the enlisted men and 4 officers survived.

These paratroopers demonstrated in action the meaning of Jesus' words: "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." 

These words on sacrificial, self-emptying love are not just a call to action but a foreshadowing of Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Jesus does not just command us to love; He shows us how.

Jesus does not ask for simple affection or a conditional willingness to do good only when it suits us. He calls for total love, which involves laying down our lives. 

Laying down one's life in love may sometimes involve actual death. Think of the martyrs throughout history: Saint Peter and Paul, Saint Sebastian, and Joan of Arc. While few of us may be called to martyrdom, laying down one's life in love more often means smaller laying downs of our selfishness for the good of someone else. 

Each day is an opportunity to practice this laying down of life in our families, workplaces, and communities. It might mean sacrificing our time, our comfort, or our preferences for the good of another. It might mean being patient with those who frustrate us, especially when we are not in the mood, forgiving those who hurt us, and extending kindness to those who are difficult to love. It might mean giving up some screen time to call up someone who looks forward to hearing from us, going out of our way to visit the elderly or someone who is sick, or taking the time to write a note of sympathy to someone grieving. 

Yes, laying down one's life in love may sometimes mean real death. Jesus laid down his life on the cross to free us from sin and death, and on D-day, the paratroopers laid down their lives to free Europe. But ordinarily, laying down our lives in love comes in countless small ways in which we put the needs and well-being of others before our own, all in the name of Jesus, who taught us to love one another. NQ


bottom of page