Sunday Reflections

5th Sunday of Lent – March 17, 2024

Reflection by:

Reflection by:

Fr. Jim Donohue, CR

Coming to Know God’s Love

In our first reading, from the prophet Jeremiah, we are told that all people, from the least to greatest, will come to know God.  They will come to this knowledge through the forgiveness of their evildoing, their sins.  This is, indeed, a truth which our Founder, Bogdan Janski, experienced first-hand.  He inspired those who have taken up the banner of the resurrection after him to embrace this same experience.  As the Resurrectionist Constitutions articulate: “We know the misery of our inherited weakness and the corruption which results from our personal sins.  But this knowledge leads to a new experience of God’s love because he is ready to forgive and to come to our aid.  At the same time, our renewed experience of God’s unconditional love leads to a recognition of our own unworthiness” (art. 1).

If we think that we are perfect and have no need to acknowledge our woundedness and sinfulness than we will never come to know the gracious and overwhelming love that God has for us.  Only when we stand before God in all our sinfulness do we really appreciate how much God actually loves us!  Broken, wounded, sinful, we receive God’s love, knowing in our deepest being that we do not deserve or merit this love.  It comes to us as a free and gracious gift.  Now that is LOVE!

This experience of being loved in our sinfulness is, in turn, what sets us free to love others freely and graciously.  We have receive love and forgiveness even though we do not deserve it.  This can motivate and energize us, in turn, to love and forgive others freely, even when they do not “deserve” it.  What has been received freely and graciously can be given freely and graciously.  This insight helps us to understand the gospel image of a seed dying to produce much fruit.  Only when we are willing to die—to let go of our delusional image of perfection—will we be able to accept the love that will transform us to become capable of bearing much fruit in love and service.

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