How wonderful is our God? His love and mercy are endless. As we have difficulty imagining the far reaches of outer-space, we too have difficulty, - in the limits of our humanness, - in understanding the infinite patience, mercy and love God has for us, his beloved children.
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 2:9:
“Eye has not seen,
Ear has not heard
Nor can the human heart conceive
What God has prepared for those who love Him.”
God’s love is the perfection of love – enduring, limitless, powerful and all-encompassing. In God’s love we rest in peace and security – without worry or care – in complete knowledge and understanding of its perfection for us.
God’s love is a love that responds to love - in its perfection. We cannot be loved if we do not respond with love. God’s love is always open to us, - showering us with his grace. It is we who need to be open to God’s love - in order to receive his mercy and forgiveness. We must open ourselves to his grace – through the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
There is only one unforgivable sin: “Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” – it occurs when we close ourselves off from God’s love and grace. It is a sin we impose on ourselves – when we do not allow ourselves to bask in God’s complete love. -- In our hard-heartedness, our stubbornness, - we say to God - we are not lovable. “How can God love me when I have sinned so greatly?”
It is a sin born of selfishness, self-pity and obstinacy. We place ourselves above God – thinking our sins are so great even God cannot forgive us. How foolish we are – how vain and arrogant!
Thinking we are so terrible, so sinful, that Our Father in heaven - cannot possible forgive us. Placing limits on God’s love, we turn away from his mercy and forgiveness and dwell in darkness – away from the light of His love.
The beginning of reconciliation with God is in forgiving ourselves and acknowledging our weakness. When we recognize our own frailties – our need for mercy and forgiveness - we see how much we need God’s love. It is then - when we can begin our journey to healing; opening ourselves to the abundance of God’s loving grace – (which showers down upon us like the rays of the sun).
Letting go of ourselves and our attachment to this world, we look to heaven and God’s kingdom with His promise of life eternal. There is where we shall live forever - in God’s embrace, - the perfection of His love.
Jesus’ teaching in the parable of the fig tree is not to show us that God’s patience has limits, - but to show us that we need to respond to His love – so we may bear fruit. No matter how sinful we are, how badly we believe we have behaved - God’s love is greater – overcoming all.
Just as the gardener promises to feed, water and nurture the fig tree, God too offers us ample opportunity to be nurtured in his care; responding to his love and grace.
W Sending his Word into the world to proclaim the Good News of His Kingdom
W Sacrificing his Only Son, so that we may be saved.
W Sending the Holy Spirit to be with us as comfort and guide.
W Establishing his Church where we gather together to give him worship and praise
W Teaching us to pray – saying to us - ask and we shall receive, - seek and we shall find, - knock and the door shall be opened to us.
Everyday we encounter God’s love through opportunities of grace in discipleship in Christ Jesus –
W loving the poor,
W helping the lost and disenfranchised,
W setting captives free;
W feeding the hungry,
W sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked and
W giving comfort to the sorrowful
Jesus warns us that we should look not on the sins of others or accept the sinfulness of the world as excuse - in not fulfilling our call to holiness and obedience to God. We are to look to ourselves and support one another in keeping holy.
Everyone is subject to the fires of Gehenna - if we do not respond to God’s love and rely on his mercy and forgiveness – which knows no bounds, and has no limits. He is always ready to forgive; – welcoming the most wretched sinner into his kingdom of Light.
We need only to ask his forgiveness - be open to His love: accepting His gift of mercy to be received in His embrace.
Deacon Don Ron