Love: The Depth of God’s Heart

Lenten Reflections with Br. Michael Perras, ofm – Week 4

Love is an action word which is used loosely and also has a lot of power. When used loosely it does not carry strength in it’s meaning, for example: “I love chocolate chip cookies.” However, when love carries power, it sounds more like, “Until my dying breath I will love you” and these words are followed through with actions which show the power of this love.

The Fourth Sunday of Lent is known as Rejoicing Sunday because we are over the half point in our Lenten journey. We may be rejoicing because our Lenten practices are going well or we may be rejoicing because soon it will be Easter and our feeble attempts of Lenten disciplines can fade away until next year. Regardless of where we are this Rejoicing Fourth Sunday of Lent the depth of love is at the forefront of the scriptures.

In the story from Chronicles even in the unraveling of the people and their unfaithfulness, God meets them with compassion to stir their hearts. Even when they do not respond God remains faithful to the power of love. Where have we encountered the love of God in our life? When we feel like life is unraveling do we trust the love of God is meeting us, strengthen us, restoring us?

“For God so loved the world he gave his only Son” is one of the most quoted pieces of scripture. It’s nice to quote, but it must be more than a tag line in our Christian experience. Like Nicodemus we have a choice when we hear these powerful words. We can raise our eyes to see the promise of eternal life through the cross and resurrection or simply leave it as nice story told once a year. We can believe we are saved through the gift of Christ with us or not. We can trust his light is infused in us and enables us to serve others or we can ignore the light. It is good to ask ourselves: Why do I believe? Where has the light of Christ been made present to me? Where have I encountered the depth of God’s heart? What are my reasons (or the cause) for rejoicing this week of Lent?

We are “made alive, raised up with Christ and gifted with eternal life” (Ephesians 2.4-10), these alone are gifts to rejoice in. The challenge is to consider where in our living and in the lives of others do we see these gifts. St. Francis of Assisi once said, “where there is love (charity) and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.” Let us lean into power of love for from it comes the wisdom to live well, to preach the gospel with our lives and to rejoice in the depth of the love of God which is always for us.

By your Love, O God, you have gifted us Eternal Life. 

Photo Credit: Anna Kolosyuk

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