Somewhere in the Old Testament we read, “What great nation has gods as close to it as our God is to us?” The Jewish people of old had every right to boast of their closeness to God and his deep love for his people.
In the book of the prophet Isaiah, he says there, “Zion (i.e., the Jewish people) said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.’ Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.”
Our loving God compares his love for us to the love of a mother for her child—the greatest love that we know of on earth. He shows that his love for us is tender, affectionate, unconditional. And then in one of the gospels, Jesus tells us very simply, “God is love.”
Imagine the joy with which Jesus gave to the world the two great commandments: Love God . . . love your neighbor. And imagine again the joy with which he told the parable of the prodigal son returning to his father’s farm with the intention of asking to be treated like one of his father’s farm-hands. The father in the story represents God the Father; the returning repentant son represents every sinner turning back to God after drifting away into sin. The returnee got a royal welcome as if he were a returning hero. When the older brother objected angrily, the father said to him, “We must rejoice. Your brother went away and has returned. He was lost and now has been found.”
The bottom line is simply this: God loves us. He is a warm, tender, affectionate Father who wants us to live in union with him more than we want it, and who wants us to imitate his beloved Son by loving the Father as Jesus does. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.