Do I Believe in Christ's Love?
by Fr. Émile Briére
Christ has come. He has suffered and died for us. He has resurrected. We have been forgiven and redeemed. We have been chosen to bring to others the Good News of God's love for all men. Do we believe in his love? Do we live this message? Do we bring it to others?
If the Son of God became one of us, if he has given his life on the cross for all men, if he has chosen me as a witness to his love, then I must make a response, I must change my life, I must take him seriously, because he is God! Do I believe in Christ's love for me? Has this faith penetrated into my heart and soul and changed my life? Or do I live as if Christ had not come, as if his sacrifice and triumph had little to do with daily living? Am I indifferent to his great love?
He gave all for me. What do I think of that? What do I give him? He chose me, he sent me forth to be an instrument of his love. He loves me so much that he wants me to share in his work; he gives me the power to bring others to himself through my love, my trust and faith. Do I realize that this immense power has been given to me? Or am I too lazy to be concerned about God's gifts, too cold-hearted to care about his pain, too self-centered to give much thought to the salvation of others?
Surely these are questions which will disturb us when we come to die-not so much our sins, as our omissions, our coldness, our lack of love, our indifference to the infinite love by which we were redeemed. It is better to face them now, squarely and clearly, while there is still time.
We have been bought at a great price. The Lord gave himself, all of himself, for us. How precious we are! How great he has made us! How great does he want all persons to become-sons and daughters of God, who live with his own life, who love with his own love. Despite our weaknesses, despite our misery and our failings, our hearts beat in rhythm with the merciful love of God, unless, of course, we expel him from our lives. At our baptism he came to us-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; he came to stay, his creative power constantly at work, shaping, purifying, transforming.
How great we are, united so intimately with God! Holiness, Power, Love, Life has sought us out and possessed us. Therefore, we are great. Christ's pain has not been in vain. It has produced immense fruits, for he is God, and who can estimate the value of the pain of God? We must appreciate who we are.
Who am I, really? I am the beloved of God. For me the mighty creator of all things suffered torture, let himself be humiliated, gave his life on the cross for me-not just for 'mankind in general'. Do I need more proof of his love, of my own greatness, of my power? For power he has given me, to let others know of his great love for them also, to bring them to him to be raised from the dead, to be transformed, to be united with him.
Let us not fail his love and his trust. Let us bring others to him. May the fire of zeal ignite in our hearts and burst forth ever stronger. All persons, beloved of God, wait for us to greet them; they wait for our love.
Every Christian is called to evangelize, to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, to be a living embodiment of God's love in the world. Every Christian is well equipped for the task; let each of us see and believe that. It isn't what we do that matters, but what we are. Good fruits come from good trees. Love flows from a loving person.
Such is our privilege and our task-and our power. Christ's love waits to be distributed to all persons. He has paid the terrible price. He waits for us to pass on to others what he has so lavishly given to us.
"But what can I do?" you may ask. Believe in the love that is in you, and love today. Forget yourself. Be concerned about the needs of the person next to you. Be of service to that person. Each time you do this, you die. Each time you die to your own selfishness by those little services rendered to others, you resurrect with Christ, and his love fills your world. It's as simple as that.