Now, I could do a reading of today’s text using strictly a historical critical methodology or perhaps the textual critical method or even a sociological methodology…but all of them fail in the awesomeness…yes I just said “awesomeness”…of this reality that God is, above all else, love! Yes, the very essence of that Divinity which created all that exists… is love! And we are the object of that Love! Imagine what our lives could look like if each one of us lived as if we were the “beloved of God”!
So in this fourth week of Lent it may seem peculiar in the midst of all of the suffering in the world, in the midst of our own pain and sorrow to talk of God’s audacious love for us…but I think not. Yes, in the midst of all of the pain and suffering of the world and of our lives we need, very much, to reflect on how deeply and passionately we are love by God! In the midst of our Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving we need to ask ourselves “why”…why am I praying, fasting and giving alms…because I am so deeply and passionately loved by God?
What do I have to do to open my heart wider to God’s love for me? Do I really believe that God loves all people equally…even my enemies? How can I share God’s deep and passionate love for all human beings with others? Based on God’s love for all of us how do I respond to situations of racism, bigotry, misogyny or anti- LGBTQ, anti-immigrant and refugee or just plain selfishness and refusal to care for “the other” as a child of God? Through what environmentally conscious acts can I show my understanding that God’s love is for all of creation? As we just celebrated International Women’s Day and celebrate Women’s History Month, how do I celebrate and give thanks for the lives, the gifts and talents of the women in my life and all the women down through history, and today, who have, in both large ways and in small ways, “leaned in” and “persisted” and have made our lives and this world a better place?