It is easy for me to see the love God has for the world, the love He has for others, but not for myself. Are you someone who says this when asked about the love of God? If so, today’s gospel reading (John 9: 1-41) is written for you! Many of us have a hard time recognizing and embracing the simple fact that God loves them, as an individual.
One of my favorite stories about God’s love comes from the book “The Passion of the Lamb” by Benedictine Father Thomas Acklin. Father Tom relates a story of a conversation with his mother. Fr. Tom was a child he asked his mother a question many children ask of their moms: of all your children, who do you love the best?” As parents, surely we have heard this question and been very careful to not get caught in the trap our children are setting for us. His mother responded, “I love each of you the best!” What an ingenious answer coming from his mother and exactly the type of answer God the Father would give us if we were to ask the same question. The story communicates a simple lesson; God loves each one of us as if we were the only ones ever created. It is simple to hear and understand, but to see and accept God’s love for us in the depth of our hearts is an entirely different matter.
Why is God’s love for us so hard to accept? This question has been pondered, studied, and debated for years. Scholars languish, poets and authors write, painters paint, songwriters play their music and yet, God’s love is still never captured or bottled. It can’t be. God’s love is like the wind, once it is captured and confined….it no longer exists. Wind is not wind when put in a bottle and His love is not His love when limited. How do we grow close to that love, close enough to truly experience it, see it, touch it…embrace it? The answer…in the end…love others. We must start with faith, ask for the ability to see His love, and then share it.
Jesus told the man blind from birth that HE is the “light of the world” and asked him if he believed in the Son of Man. Jesus asks us each day to open our hearts to His love which He shines upon us through all of creation, which He shines upon us through the hearts and good deeds of our friends, family, and even total strangers. So, why not ask for the light of His love to shine upon you so you can absorb it and then go out to be the light and life of Christ Jesus for others.