How often have you heard the song Jesus Loves Me? We‘ve all heard it over and over “Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so. Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.” We’ve heard it but do we really believe it?
This is probably the hardest Christian concept for people to accept. That God loves them. We can believe in God and that He loves people but somehow we feel we’re the exception. Our sins are too great. God couldn’t love me. He may have forgiven me but love me that’s not possible. Often we failed to forgive ourselves. As a consequence even though we go to Church and the Sacraments we keep Jesus at a distance. It’s like we let Him in the front door and talk to Him in the front hallway, not letting Him in any further. We don’t want to let Him inside because if He really knew of all of the anger, resentment, unforgiveness we still had, He wouldn’t like us..
This is ridiculous! He knows every thought and sin we ever had or committed. Furthermore, if private revelation is true, He saw every sin that would ever be committed during the Agony in the Garden. Knowing all the sins that we would commit He still went to the Cross for us. As Paul tells us He gave His life for us while we were still sinners. He didn’t give His life for those who were perfect but for us out of love.
No where in Scripture does it say that Jesus died for every sinner but you. There were no exceptions. Every sinner and sin was included. No sin you committed could separate you from His love? Satan may tell you otherwise but he is the Prince of Lies.
“Jesus loves me for the Bible tells me so.” Look at the Bible. Too often we shy away from Scripture because our guilt makes us uncomfortable so we procrastinate and keep putting it off. Someday, I’ll read it. Don’t play Satan’s game. Read the Bible especially the Gospels. The Bible is God’s love letter to man.
In modern romances we prove our love by sacrificing for our loved one. Often we claim that we would die for the other. Jesus has done that for you. Read the Passion and instead of feeling guilty think; He loved me enough to go through all of that for me. Read it carefully. There wasn’t an inch of His body that wasn’t injured or bruised. Even the bottoms of His feet were injured walking barefoot through Jerusalem. Every drop of blood He had been given out of love. He gave everything He had, every drop of blood and water in His body.
Read the parables. The Prodigal Son tells of a father who watches day after day and runs to His son when he returns. The parable of the Lost Sheep tells of a God who will search endlessly for the lost. God is pursuing us. He loves us that much.
Read the Gospels. You won’t find any examples of Jesus rejecting sinners. Instead He was criticized by the so-called righteous for socializing with sinners. He didn’t keep sinners at a distance. Today’s gospel was the story of the woman who was a notorious sinner, most likely a prostitute who entered the house of Simon the Pharisee and washed the feet of Jesus with her tears. The Gospel didn’t say that Jesus said EWW, get away from me. Instead He rebuked Simon for His critical thoughts and talked about the great love of the woman.
Read the Psalms. Not only do they tell of God’s love for us but more than eighty times the Psalms describes God’s love as unfailing. “The Lord delights in those who…put their hope in His unfailing love” Psalm 147 tells us. Jeremiah tells us that God’s love is everlasting. That means forever. He won’t and did not stop loving you.
Isaiah tells us “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed. says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10) If you read Matthew 14:14 it tells us that Jesus had compassion or love on all who came to Him. Why would you not be included in the all?
Not only the Bible tells of God’s love but the Sacraments are all examples of God’s love for us especially the Eucharist. Jesus loved us so much as to make Him self available to us every day, not just Sunday. He waits in the Tabernacle to bless us each and every time we visit. He longs for us to open the doors of our hearts to Him as we receive Communion.
Reconciliation is another example of the love of Jesus. Not only does He make it possible for us to receive forgiveness of our sins but He makes it possible for us to know through the priest’s absolution that we are forgiven. He gives us the advice, encouragement and grace we need to do better, all out of love. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament of great love for us.
Every new day, every sunrise and sunset is a sign of God’s love. The beauty of Creation, of the stars; all remind us of the love of God. All of this was created out of love for us. Perhaps that’s why most retreats are given near beaches or in the country so we can be reminded by the beauty of nature that God loves us.
Every good thing we eat, see or touch is a sign of a loving God who loves to give His children good things. But we have to be open to accept His love. We have to put away our silly fears and doubts and believe God loves us. He loved us enough to give us free will to accept or reject Him. He won’t force us to accept His love but He will give us the grace we need to accept it if we ask.
This was recently published along with the Greatest Mystery in the summer edition of Wellsprings.