Sunday, August 3, 2008

Unconditional Love

1. The other day, there was a comic in which a young girl was sitting on a log pulling the petals off of a flower saying he loves me, he loves me not. When she got to the last petal, she realized that was not going to get the answer she wanted, so she told the boy sitting next too her quick, give me another flower! It seems silly to trust the number of petals on a flower to indicate whether or not someone loves us. What do the number of petals on a flower have to do with someone’s love for us?
2. When we try to determine whether or not God loves us, however, we can make equally silly mistakes. We might look at our state in life, the disasters that are happening to us, the disappointment and sorrows, and conclude that God just does not care for us. Of course, part of the reason we do that is because we know that God is God over all things in the universe. And so we conclude that if life is not pleasant for us, it is because God is making happen that way. But we do not see the whole picture of what is happening, nor do we take into account the freedom which the Lord has given to us and everyone else. Many of the bad things that happen are the result of our own sin, or the sins of others, or just an accident of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
3. To top it all off, many times it appears that good things are happening to people who are bad, even as a result of their sin. It is very easy to get a “poor me” attitude. Or if we do not blame God for the sorrow we experience, we despair and are not very hopeful. Maybe we even calculate that we are not lovable because of the problems that we have or have caused.
4. Saint Paul reminds us, however, that God’s love is not like that. We cannot be separated from God’s love by violence, sorrow, pain, or any natural disaster. Other people cannot take God’s love away from us. Neither can the demons, or for that matter any other creature. God’s love for us is unconditional, and its proof is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now, we might ourselves be guilty of not loving God, and that indeed may result in much sorrow on its own. But God’s love is sure. And even if we experience problems or sorrows, in these we are victorious, just as Jesus gained victory in His Holy Cross.

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