St. Augustine once noted that God couldn’t give us any more in this life even if He wanted to, because He’s already given us everything in Himself.
You want more, you say? Sorry. It’s impossible. You can’t get more than God. And, honestly, I think most of us get that. Which is why I’m moving on.
What many of us don’t understand, however, is why? Why did God come to the earth? I mean, it’s…well…earth. Don’t get me wrong, the earth looks pretty awesome from space (I’ve seen pictures). It also has some pretty gorgeous terrain––my favorite being Italy (for obvious reasons). But, as you and I know all too well, it comes with its fair share of baggage. Take humans for instance. I mean, come on, most of us have a hard enough time remembering how long to microwave our popcorn, let alone getting this world peace thing down.
So again, I ask, why would God come to the world? Don’t you think the view is a little better from a distance?
In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear why:
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in himmight not perish but might have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Did you catch that? I didn’t the first 547 times I read it either. But I’m beginning to grasp it a little better now.
God came to the world for our sake and only our sake. He couldn’t come to the world for his sake, because He’s God. He doesn’t need any help. But He knew we did, and that’s why He came.
When we break down this week’s readings, we see what love is––a pure gift from God. One in which He has willed our good for our own sake. And He proves it by making an appearance.
God loves the world and the baggage that comes with it. He loves it because He created it, and though we may not always get things right, he’s given us everything He could (Himself) to start anew. And the best part is- He’s done the heavy lifting. The cross he carried had our names and dreams and troubles written all over it. All so we could experience a life filled with His greatest of gifts––Jesus.
When you’re listening to the readings at Mass this week, I want you to stop and thank God for whatever is going on in your life. In fact, do it right now. I’ll wait…
For some, that simple prayer may come with a few tears as you hope for a better tomorrow. For others, it might be a prayer you’ve rarely prayed. If you’re like me, you’ve mastered the whole “this is what I need, Lord” prayer pretty well. The thankful heart thing…yeah…I’ve got work to do, too.
The point is no matter who we are or what we’ve done, God has equipped us with what we need––Jesus––for any of life’s circumstances. For that we must be forever grateful.
Wherever we are in life, God has sent his Son to break in with the surest way to the freedom we’re looking for. It will start with the cross––that I’m sure of––but will end with an empty tomb.
God bless you!