Sunday, December 18, 2011

Love has a Face

The following is part of a talk that was given by the Sisters at an Advent Retreat Day for Single Women here at our motherhouse:

At a recent retreat day for Sisters we sang a lovely Offertory Hymn at Mass. Listen to the refrain: “Come down, Lord Jesus! Come quickly, Lord Jesus! The whole world is waiting for love. The whole world is waiting for Love.” Yes, it’s true, the whole world IS waiting for love, longs for love, needs love. And so many people in the world have no idea where to find it.

Our late Holy Father, Blessed John Paul II said in his first encyclical REDEMPTORIS HOMINIS (On Redemption and the Dignity of Man) that “man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This, as has already been said, is why Christ the Redeemer “fully reveals man to himself.”

Each one of us knows what the lack of love looks like – we see it in the faces on the news, we hear it in the voices around us, we feel it in the anger and impatience of those we work with. We see it reflected in the high rate of abortion, in the abuse of drugs and alcohol, in child abuse, in the aimlessness of teenagers, in the loneliness of the elderly. And often we experience it in our own hearts.

Do we know that WE are loved? How many of us struggle from time to time, even in very small, hidden ways because we don’t really comprehend, in the deep recesses of our heart, that we are loved – loved beyond our deepest imaginings – loved by the Person who loves us without limit - that Person is the Creator of the Universe, our loving Father, our loving God!

How do we get to know the Father? How do we come to experience his love? The answer is Jesus. Jesus is the way to the Father. The Father had such a deep desire to reach out to us, His children, that He sent His only Son to reveal to us what the Father looks like, how He acts, how He loves. Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, is the Revelation of the Father.

In the Post Synodal Exhortation “Verbum Domini”, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirms the truth that “in the Incarnation…we are set before the very person of Jesus. His unique and singular history is the definitive word which God speaks to humanity... The Lord made his word short, he abbreviated it' (Is 10:23; Rom 9:28) … The Son himself is the Word, the Logos: the eternal word became small – small enough to fit into a manger. He became a child, so that the word could be grasped by us. Now the word is not simply audible; not only does it have a voice, now the word has a face, one which we can see: that of Jesus of Nazareth.

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