Sunday, March 04, 2012

In the light of the Cross…

God's love for us is everlasting. That means that God’s love for us existed before we were born and will exist after we have died. It is an eternal love in which we are embraced. Living a spiritual life calls us to claim that eternal love for ourselves so that we can live our temporal loves—for parents, brothers, sisters, teachers, friends, spouses, and all people who become part of our lives—as reflections or refractions of God's eternal love. No fathers or mothers can love their children perfectly. No husbands or wives can love each other with unlimited love. There is no human love that is not broken somewhere.

When our broken love is the only love we can have, we are easily thrown into despair, but when we can live our broken love as a partial reflection of God's perfect, unconditional love, we can forgive one another our limitations and enjoy together the love we have to offer.

Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey

It is only on the Cross that we see God’s perfect love for what it is. At the Stations of the Cross this afternoon somehow the eyes of my heart were opened to see the account of the Crucifixion as if for the first time. What became clear to me was not so much the physical suffering of our Lord—plain though it was to see—but the infinite love he bore for us, right into and throughout that final agony. Somehow, his very wounds become the love he bears for all that is made, and for every heart that weeps, or has ever wept since time began.

Strangely, perhaps, it is in that last account in John’s Gospel of Jesus’ days on earth that it is most obvious that he is God. I can’t explain this; only it was shown me more clearly than I can possibly write it down. Jesus is Lord, the Christ, the Son of the living God—and it is the Cross that shows it, beyond all uncertainty.

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