Love

The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to his disciples saying, "take, eat, this is my body given for you"…and he took the cup and when they had given thanks, gave it to them saying "This is my blood shed for you…do this in remembrance of me.
A common word spoken to us before communion is received at church.  This is the focus of my Lenten devotion today from Reliving The Passion by Walter Wangrin. It touched me deeply.  I wanted to share some of what he wrote…
"When is a mother more inclined to cuddle her children?  When they're a nasty brood, disobedient and disrespectful of her motherhood?…When will a father likelier give good gifts to his children?  When they've just ruined the previous gift, by neglect or by downright wickedness?  When they are sullen and self-absorbed? Or when they manifest genuine goodness and self-responsibility?
But the love of Jesus is utterly unaccountable, except that he is God and God is love.  It has no cause in us.  It reacts to, or repays, or rewards just nothing in us.  It is beyond human measure, beyond human comprehension.  It takes my breath away.
For when did Jesus choose to give us the supernal, enduring gift of his presence, his cuddling, his dear communing with us?  When we were worthy of the gift, good people indeed?  Hardly.  It was precisely when we were most unworthy.  When our wickedness was directed particularly at him…With the apostle Paul the pastor repeats:  The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread.  Oh let that pastor murmur those words, the same night, with awe.  For who among us can hear them just before receiving the gift of Christ's intimacy and not be  overcome with wonder, stunned as such astonishing love?  The context qualifies that love.  The time defines it.  And ever and ever again, these words remind us of the times:  The same night in which he was betrayed…
But in the same night, he remembered our need.  In that same night he provided the sacrament which would forever contain his grace and touch his comfort into us. Oh, this is a love past human expectation.  This is beyond all human deserving.  This, therefore, is love so celestial that it shall endure long and longer than we do.
This is grace."
Ah, dearest Lord Jesus.  Upon the eve of your death you thought of me, of us, your children.  As our voices ring with "crucify him", your eyes are filled with love.  I cannot comprehend this love.  I can only fall to my knees in humble thanksgiving that you love me so completely.  May we, your children allow this amazing love to fill us completely this Easter.  May we rise up with new life and share your gift of grace with all those we encounter.  May we love our children, spouses and neighbors not as a reward for goodness shown to us, but simply out of pure love.   Thank you dear Jesus, thank you.  I love you.

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