-Then he bowed his head and delivered over his spirit.
The image of our Lord dying on the cross for our redemption- for us can be somewhat staggering. As we begin to internalize the image, our minds focus on Godís great love for us and we pray that we can hold the realization of it close to our hearts and never allow ourselves to stray far from such great love and generosity towards us.
Paul illuminates us with a wonderful message in Romans 8:32:
He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Could there possibly exist any greater love? Sometimes when we find ourselves beset with personal problems, or preoccupations, we may turn away from remembering Godís love for us and understanding that whatever assails us, He is walking with us, but we need to make the effort to be open to the Lord and challenge our spirits to be close to the Lord and His love. Our distracted minds and limiting problems become quite small and insignificant in light of what God has in store for us as His children. We have the gift of unconditional love and forgiveness, but we need to try to embrace it by entering Godís presence through prayer, frequent visits to the Holy Eucharist, even reading the Gospel stories and contemplation to name some concrete ways to draw closer to God.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: ďWhat lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny compared to what lies within us.Ē If you take some steps to enrich your relationship with the Lord, you will be much closer to grasping His love and His plan for your life.
So let us enter into the space within ourselves that knows and understands the Fatherís love.
The Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisceux considered herself to be thin-skinned and overly sensitive. She struggled with personal and physical problems, however she never forgot the love of Christ in her life and the influence it had upon her for the better. She clung to it for courage against adversity and her own doubts.
Each day, St. Therese made efforts to be the best disciple of the Lord she could be and it was not an easy undertaking for her.
St. Therese finally had to submit to Godís love fully. She wrote: ďI ask Jesus to draw me into the flames of His love, to unite me so close to Him that He live and act in me.Ē
Let us hold the image of the Little Flower and ourselves being drawn into the flames of Godís love this Good Friday. It is a beautiful vision for us which we can achieve by allowing God to be present in us today and always.
Reach out to others, draw others into the flame and share that love.
Do you know of anyone in need? A friendless person who needs who may need a friend?
Think deeply today of ways you can share Godís mercy with others.