Thursday, October 7, 2010

You Are Loved

“In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” 1 John 4: 10

All of us can believe the lie that we are unlovable. Maybe we have guilt for things we have done, or failed to do. Maybe we have listened to the lies of the world that use advertising to constantly tell us that we aren’t talented enough, or smart enough, or beautiful enough—that somehow in some way, we are defective. Perhaps our parents fail to show us the love we need or desire. And maybe, just maybe, we sought after love in all the wrong places and are left with a hard, cold, jaded mass where our heart used to be. Or, maybe today is just one of those bad days where we felt little, small, overlooked or ignored—not in an on-going way, but just for today.

No matter why you might be feeling unloved today, I have good news for you: Jesus loves you! Of course this is sometimes easy to say and hard to accept. Other days it is hard to believe altogether. But it is true and we can all use the reminder from time to time. The really awesome part of this is that His love for us is UNCONDITIONAL. This is so hard for us to understand because the love we give and receive from other humans is always conditional. But God’s love is unconditional. What does this mean? It means that He doesn’t love you more when you are doing good or love you less when you are sinning. Why? Because He loves you perfectly at all times. You are His precious daughter or son and He desires to be with you. In fact, we have a God who loves us so much that He would rather die than spend eternity without us. He loves you so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to suffer and die so that our sins could be forgiven and we could get to heaven someday.

I encourage you today, dear young people, do not be afraid of this love. Do not reject this love! So many people feel that God does not love them, but this is not true. But what is true is that so often we don’t love Him back. And even then He loves us! When Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the young pilgrims in Australia in 2008, he described the love of God as the “love which dispels uncertainty; love which overcomes the fear of betrayal; love which carries eternity within; the true love which draws us into a unity that abides!” As you read this, doesn’t your heart yearn for this love? Let us open ourselves today to the possibility, to the absurdity, that our God loves us without condition and that His will for us is always that which will draw us deeper into this reality.

Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me first and without condition. Through Your grace, help me to always live in the knowledge of this love and to love You back. Amen.

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