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God is Love: Gospel Meditations (Part II)

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Sunset in Nice, France.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen glory, and the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

{John 1:9-14}

 

A Theological Reflection

 

God, who enlightens all, is unrecognizable. Creator and Sustainer of creation – the Life of the world – takes it up to Himself, entering into it; yet, the true light is imperceptible.

 

He is unknown by those He knows. God is rejected by God’s own.

 

Here we see God on the cross before the cross; here we take note of God in the grave before the grave; God in Hell, rejected and judged by the world, a world He created in ineffable love.

 

God is the alien other, left outside the sphere of recognition. Love eternal is met with temporal rejection. God knows what it means to be pushed aside.

 

This is love: God for us while we are against Him! This is love: God pardons us and frees us while we judge Him and imprison Him to a dark, isolated cave! This is love: God becomes human so as to wash our feet in humble service – fitting only to a slave – yet we pierce Him through and destroy Him because we long to be gods!

 

This dynamic movement of God – who cannot be moved, transcending motion and stillness – is the very ground of the dynamics of love. For love’s posture is always open to piercing rejection. This is the weak God whose omnipotence cannot be grasped by a fallen mind who measures power by means of the ability to exercise outward force. True omnipotence is cruciformed in shape.

 

But there is a portion of His creation that is open to this overabundant, saturating love; those persons whose receptive “yes” to this gift that is God Himself. Such an embrace gives birth to new being, new creation.

 

To say “yes” to life is to be born anew. A “yes” to light eternal opens the eyes of the blind.

 

Creation is created anew by an ever embracing love that is continually rejected. Love that is rejected is still love. And though human love can fail in the face of rejection, God’s love is not conditioned on the acceptance of His love. In fact, God’s love is precisely God’s because “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This love of God is the eternal grammar that is the transcendent dynamism of God, which meets humanity within the creature of time, for God is love. It is a movement that is characterized by a reaching embrace of an enemy for the purpose of transforming enemy into friend.

 

The eternal Word of God becomes fragile flesh. The ineffable Word becomes concrete articulation. Wisdom becomes humanity. The genesis of this unity between God and humanity is love, which gushes forth scandalizing grace and overwhelming mercy.

 

To see Wisdom, Word, God in flesh – and God killed on a Roman cross – is to behold God’s glory. Such glory is manifestly expressed in human weakness.

 

God’s way is not ours. God’s revelation subverts our imagination, our hypotheses, our guesses.

 

Prayer

Lord, you are the one who loves in the face of rejection. Let us find ourselves in you, that we too may love without fail. Amen.

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