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Not static, not hidden, not at rest in Heaven: What is this love really like?

Sacred Heart of Jesus on Pinus Cembra Photo by Hermann HammerWC

Hermann Hammer-cc

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 06/24/22

There’s so much we could say, but perhaps the one thing we need to fix in our minds today is this: God’s love is not a static love ...

Today’s readings can be found here.

Lk 15:3-7

Reflection

Jesus has a heart, and this should already give us much food for thought. The Gospel also reveals to us what is in Jesus’ heart and how it thinks. Luke’s Gospel more than any other seems to be concerned with giving us a good understanding of the dynamics of Jesus’ heart. For this reason the evangelist tells us many stories that have mercy as their background.

Today’s passage is precisely one of them, and it tells the parable of the lost sheep. There’s so much we could say, but perhaps the one thing we need to fix in our minds today is this: God’s love is not a static love, not a love that stays at rest somewhere in heaven. It’s a dynamic love, an outgoing love. God loves us by seeking us!

He doesn’t simply love and that’s it; rather, he loves by coming to find us where we are. And it matters little whether our situation is heavenly or hellish. His heart is set on coming to gather us to himself, wherever we end up. There is no situation or sin that is beyond the reach of God’s love, out of which he cannot pull us.

Today is the celebration of such Love. How can we not feel joy and gratitude for all of this? It’s the same joy as the shepherd’s:

“When he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.'”

In this way, we can understand why “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”

~

Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio’, Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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