By Ken Rolheiser
Four rabbis had an argument, and three were in accord against the fourth. "Three to one, majority rules," they argued. The fourth asked God for a sign to convince the three.
The sky turned black, the earth shook, and a deep voice boomed, "HEEEEEEEE'S RIIIIIIIGHT!"
"Well," said the fourth Rabbi.
One of the three shrugged, "So, now it's three to two."
How many times has God spoken to us? How many times has he proclaimed his love? How many times have we failed to grasp it?
A father once asked his little girl, “If I was somehow able to go through all the little girls in the entire world and pick out just one to be my very own, do you know who I would pick?”
“No, Daddy, who?” was the girl’s honest reply.
“I would pick you!”
And God has picked you and he has picked me. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:5).
More wonderful than human love, God surpasses even the love of a mother: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast… Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” (Isaiah 49:15).
The NUMBER 1 reason to love God is that God loved us first!
The NUMBER 2 reason for loving God is that even before he created all earth’s beauty for us, he had a plan to share all Eternity with us. And for that he made us heirs to the Kingdom.
Now because God loves us as a parent he gave us some rules to save us. What parent would not stop a child from touching a hot stove? Out of love God commands us to know, love and serve God AND to love our neighbour as we would love ourselves. If we fall short of this ideal, God gave us some other commandments to protect us.
God made us, gave us all the gifts of creation and even asks us to pray for whatever else we need. And he wants to live with us forever! Now just in case we didn’t “get it” God has worked signs and wonders for thousands of years. Just for us to better grasp his love.
It’s hard to choose which of these signs are most significant, but there is a pattern. The Prophets revealed many of these signs: Moses’ burning bush, his dividing the Red Sea, the Passover… Then there was Elijah… well the Old testament was great, but nothing like the New.
Jesus Resurrection! His many miracles we can read about and hear about. And they are still going on. Check out Fatima, Lourdes, St Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, the Eucharistic miracles. Listen to the stories that families experience when a loved one passes to eternity.
Consider Art and creativity! Why do we, of all created things, seek beyond reality and existence? Beyond design and function, to beauty and aestheticism?
How can we be anything but thankful when we consider the beautiful people God has created, not least among them you and me? And I haven’t even gotten to grandchildren yet!
The most amazing thing of all is that God gave us his beautiful Son, born of Mary, to be a sacrifice for our redemption. As in any great love relationship, we can only grow if we continue to work on it.