Waiting for a child to return.
Departing from his prepared remarks,
the Pope appealed “sincerely” and “respectfully” to those who “feel far from God and from the Church” and to “those who are fearful and indifferent: the Lord is calling you too.” The Lord is calling you to be a part of His people and He does it with great respect and love.”
“The Lord does not proselytize; He gives love,” reaffirmed the Pope. “And this love seeks you and waits for you, you who at this moment do not believe or are far away. And this is the love of God.”
Waiting for a child’s return.
Identifying with God.
While not making any claim to be God, I identify with Him as the Pope spoke of him on the Feast of the Epiphany. Some of my children are far away and will not speak with me; others have stayed close-by and, for others, new avenues of communication are opening up.
I know my children have suffered as a result of things I have done and that they have felt abandoned and uncared for. What I can say, without any hesitation or doubt, is that my love has been seeking and waiting for each of them without cajoling or demanding. It is the love of a father and is without conditions or limits and quite unchanged by my behaviour or theirs. It simply is, as it has been since each life began, through good times and bad.
“And this is the love of God.”
This is simple love, enduring and even growing through human weakness. I can recognise, in my own love, God’s love. “Love melts into love,” said St Teresa of Avila. We look everywhere for God’s love, but we already have it. Famously St. Augustine looked everywhere for God and then found him already nearer than he could imagine, in his own heart.
No matter how imperfect we are this Love is perfected within us.
The Epiphany is the making public of this Love.