Yesterday afternoon, following the Mass of the Feast of Christ the King, I listened with a full heart as one of my best friends gushed about how much the Lord wants us to depend on Him; about how He always gives us what we need and walks on this journey with us. She sounded like a woman in love.
The phrase “Jesus loves you” has become so cliché. We hear it so often that we risk missing its true and deep significance for our lives. He loves each of us in a deeply personal and unique way and if we allow ourselves to be open to this amazing friendship, it will have a profound effect on our lives.
In his very first moments as Pope, Benedict XVI spoke of exactly this. He said;
“If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed… Dear young people: do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life.”
Even Pope Benedict’s first encyclical was about love. Deus Caritas Est, which actually means ‘God is love’, sheds some light on what it all really means. In the first half of the letter, he addresses the various types of love and how we as human beings were created for relationship. In the second part he applies these ideas to the Church and describes the call of all Christians to witness to this invitation for relationship through justice and charity.
It is my prayer that you all ‘feel the love’ this week.