Sirach 27:30 -28:9; Ps 103:1-4, 9-12; Romans 14:7-8; Matthew 18:21-35
Dear Holy Spirit, please give us wisdom to know and understand Jesus’ awesome love for us.
God loves us in so many ways. He wants us to receive more of it each day. We can just tune our “satellite dish” to his channel to receive more of his gifts using our baptism always-paid-up credit card. Jesus paid the debt for all sins by his death on the cross. Our Father proved Jesus paid the bill because Jesus came back from the dead and invited us into his kingdom of love.
The first letter of St. John tells us, in 4:10, that God loved us first. Then we are able and empowered to love others partly in gratitude for God’s love and forgiveness of our sins.
All was good
Genesis, in the Old Testament, told us that God created everything from nothing. That was a great plan and ongoing miracles. Then the other awesome thing is that God is like the glue that holds everything God made in existence. It wasn’t a “Big Bang.” When God finished creating, he looked at it and saw that it was all good. Then God created Adam and Eve. They were perfect and placed in a beautiful garden. And all was good.
God gave them only one command, not to eat from a particular tree. Then someone came in the form of a snake and told them the first lie, eat from the tree, and you will have all knowledge and be like God. They obeyed the lie, the first sin. Bang! And it began to spread all over the world even until our own day.
God sent Jesus
Over the centuries God tried to correct that effects of that first lie yet most humans were not strong enough to obey. Finally, God sent his own Son to take on human flesh to be one of us, except sin, and correct that first sin. In his public life, Jesus healed thousands, taught even more and assumed the debt and punishment of human sins by dying on the cross.
Jesus established a new kingdom of good and empowered people to enter his kingdom of love. By the way Jesus loved and cared for people, he gave us the ability to receive his love. It is because of God’s love for us that we are able to love and forgive others. The four gospels and the Gloria and Creed at Sunday and major feast day Masses tell us more about God’s love for us.
The Trinity within us
We receive more of that love following the one prayer Jesus taught us, the Our Father. Because God created everything, he is not just up in heaven but everywhere keeping us in existence. The whole Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, live inside of us since our baptism unless we throw them out. God’s Name is holy. We are in his kingdom hopefully trying to do his will.
We ask for daily bread and God gives us that in our scriptures and Jesus’ Body and Blood in communion at Mass offered each day. God forgives us our sins and commands us to forgive others. If the wound is extremely deep, Jesus can go back and heal that wound so we can love the person who hurt us so deeply. Then we ask for protection from the evils of the dark side kingdom of satan.
Truth sets us free
St. John gives us a wonderful sentence in: 8:31-32: “If you make your home in my Word, you will truly be my disciples (students); you will learn my truth and my truth (not what is politically correct in the world) will set you free,” New Jerusalem Bible.
As we take some time each day to read especially the New Testament and spend some time in prayer, God fills up our gas tank and charges our battery with his divine power. He fills us with more and more of his love. Then as we go into the world, some of that divine power leaves us and flows out to many people in need around us. We may come home a bit drained from the loss of divine power. No problem! We just go back to God’s gas station and get filled up again.
I pray God fills you up each day with more of his love as we continue to praise and thank him.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2017 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)