The readings for today are full of beautiful illusions to the love of parents for their children—”Can a mother forget her infant...even should she forget, I will never forget you” and “[Jesus] also called God His own Father...for the Father loves the Son.” As I read them, I am flooded with images and memories of my own experiences of love and tenderness shown to me from my parents—moments of support and encouragement while struggling with life’s challenges, moments of healing and murmured reassurance when hurt, and just simply moments of being embraced, protected and cherished. And as much as I remember and appreciate all the love shown to me by my parents, how much greater is God’s love for us! There are so many powerful descriptions of God’s parental love used in these passages—comforting, tender, gracious, merciful, slow to anger, great kindness, compassionate, and faithful. The readings assure us that God’s deep love for us is so much greater than we can imagine or understand.
As a parent myself, I realize how far I fall short of these descriptions of God’s love for His children when my pride and selfishness get in the way. And there are many who might not have experienced loving relationships with their parents, but Jesus models for us His intimate relationship with God and the profound love God has for all His children.
Hearing these poignant and comforting descriptions of God’s love seems especially important as we approach the fifth week of Lent and face the upcoming suffering and crucifixion of Jesus. Even when it seems as though darkness and despair will prevail, the great love of God our Father carries us through to light and life. In today’s Gospel, we hear foreshadowing that “the hour is coming,” but we also hear that “the Lord is faithful” and we place our hope in Him.
PrayerLoving Father, help me to live as Your beloved child. Help me to come out of my darkness and into the light of Your love. May I know the tender, gracious, and merciful God who, like a mother, will not forget or forsake us.
Anna Lester, ’98, M’12, Assistant Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry
ScriptureFirst Reading: Isaiah 49:8-15
Psalm 145:8-9, 13c-14, 17-18
Gospel: John 5:17-30
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website