One fact rings loud and clear from Calvary: where God’s love is concerned, we mortals are ignorant and very uncomprehending. We often experience what men and women will do for love. We find it strange to think that way about God, perhaps, because we think of God as the stern judge, impassive, unmoving and hard as a rock.

If that is the way we see our God, then we do not know Him. We have not grasped the truth that St. John tells us when he says, “This is love -not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins.”

You see, God was not content with some sort of legal redemption or a calm and cool formal pardon for the sins of the world. He wanted to experience what we experience and live out our human condition. He wanted to learn as we learn. He wanted to love as we love, often surrounded by hate and lust. He wanted to experience firsthand what it feels like to grow and to hurt, to laugh and to cry, to grow angry and to be afraid. He was sinless, but he wanted to be where sin is. He wanted to know what makes us do the things we do. He wanted not only to heal you, but to lay hands of compassion on the scarred, lonely and unloved. He wanted to feel the kind of pain that we feel. He wanted to feel what it is like to die.

God’s Son wanted to be one of us, and one with us. For Him, love was stronger than death. Greater love than this no one has, that He would lay down His life for you. He did not simply die…. He died for you. If He loves you that much, you must be quite extraordinary and very special. The least you can do -no, I should say, the best you can do-in return is to not simply live…. Live for Him! Then you will experience a joyful Lent.

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