By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB
Retreat is a time for deepening our relationship with God. We read … we observe … we listen. During yesterday’s retreat conference, we listened to Sr. Antoinette reflect on the love of God.
As Jesus says, “Father, they are your gift to me” (John 17:24). In other words, we are gift! God made us and gave us to Jesus as a precious gift.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe God loves us. We don’t feel as if we have earned it. But consider the parent and the child. The parent loves the child … because.
The child loves the parent because the parent provides her with what she needs, including love.
As the child of a human parent, we know we don’t need to earn love. Imagine this on a divine scale!
God loves us unconditionally. And if God loves us all – the irritating neighbor, the criminal, the homeless guy with the brown bag – then we need to love, too.
As Sr. Antoinette spoke, an old Carey Landry song from the “Hi God” series popped into my head. We sang this at good old Holy Ghost School in Dubuque for my First Communion! It went like this:
Song Leader: Oh,(child’s name) do you love Jesus?
Child: Oh yes I love Jesus!
Song Leader: Do you really love Jesus?
Child: Oh yes I really love Jesus!
Song Leader: Tell me why you love Jesus!
Child: This is why I love Jesus: because he first loved me!
Chorus: Oh how I love Jesus. Oh how I love Jesus. Oh how I love Jesus, because he first loved me!
God gives us this love abundantly and without strings. We are called to share it. When we do this we do not need to tell others we are Christians. They will see it in how we love!