God is Triple-L: Love, Life, and Light
Ours is God triple L God is love. God demonstrates his love for us by offering his only begotten Son as a sacrifice on the cross for our redemption. The cross is the place of perfect love. There, Jesus freely suffered death to bring about our salvation. Just as the brazen serpent raised up by Moses in the wilderness was a source of salvation from the serpent’s sting, from the venom of sin and death, so did Jesus raised up on the cross a means of redemption of believers from sin and death. Jesus' death on the cross is love in perfection. Jesus’ passion and death on the cross are what saved humanity from eternal death.
Therefore, God is life because we were dead in sin until he restored us to life through the life of His Son. It is his death and resurrection that restore us to new life, beginning with our baptism. Our soul is destined for eternal death as a result of sin. A believer would die eternal death due to sin but would gain eternal life due to God’s enduring love and abundant mercy.
And we say, God is light because His truth enlightens us on what is right and virtuous, showing us the right path to follow by his grace. We receive life in God through our belief and embrace of the truth of the Gospel. The revealed truth about God and his commandments are lights to guide us on the right path to God. We have the freedom to accept the light of truth or reject it by justifying our choice of falsehood or by the hardening of our hearts. The choice is ours. As St. Augustine says, God who made us without us won’t save us without us. It is our choice to respond or not respond to the grace of his light of truth.
In His relationship with His chosen people, the Israelites, God kept his promise to remain their God even after they freely rejected him and his messengers. God keeps his covenant with his people. God “had compassion on his people and his dwelling place.” Though his chosen ones mocked his messengers and despised his warnings which had consequences in the destruction of the temple and their deportation to Babylon, God never abandoned his people and used a pagan King Cyrus to rebuild his temple and his people (2 Chr. 36:14-16, 19-23). God is “rich in mercy,” and his love brought us to life with Christ by his grace ( Eph. 2:4).
Do you have Triple-A membership? By this, I mean, do you believe and accept the saving grace of God of love, life, and light? Would you find time during this Lent to contemplate and pray to God who loves us and brings us to life through the light of his truth in Jesus, his only begotten Son?
Have a happy St. Patrick and St. Joseph days this week.
In Christ Crucified,
Fr. Bernard, OP
N.B: Though the Solemnity of Saint Joseph falls on a Friday, March 19th this year, there is no obligation to abstain from meat nor need for any dispensation for the day (see Canon 1251).