Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Blog 87 Total Unconditional Love Even in the response of limited praise and thanks that is due to fellow human beings who have helped and blessed us in one way or another we have learned to make use of symbols. Words of thanks and praise, greeting cards, the invitation to a meal together, and other gifts are all ways we know and make use of to express our love for those around us. These limited expressions of our love do not, however, capture the totality of our love. There is generally more in our minds and hearts than can be expressed in words or gestures. As a result they become SYMBOLS of the total depth and breadth of the love we have and wish to convey. We may read the message on several of the greeting cards that are available on the rack before we hit upon the one we feel comes closest to the particular love we have in mind and are seeking to express. Which is the best symbol of our love is the question we answer in the choice we make of a particular card. If in the case of our response to a limited love that has been given us by a fellow human being we can experience the meaning, use, and need of symbols, it should be easy for us to appreciate the need for symbols in the case of our necessarily limited response to God's divine love. From the very beginning of the story of humanity in the book of Genesis we find the act of SACRIFICE identified as the symbol uniquely fitted and worthy to express our love for God THE CREATOR OF ALL. The unique love we have for God our Creator is called worship. The official universal symbol we use to express our worship is called sacrifice. Sacrifice in its strict sense is defined as an offering to God alone of some material thing by an official representative of the people with the change or destruction of what is offered in order to recognize and respond in total unconditional obedient love to God's supreme dominion and our complete dependence upon God. It would do us well to memorize and take that definition with us when we go to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The stories of Cain and Abel, of Noah, and the tribe of Levi all relate to worship and sacrifice. Laws from God for His people gave intricate details as to how when where and by whom various ritual sacrifices were to be offered. Then the letter to the Hebrews clearly and forcefully identifies JESUS as our great high PRIEST, officially appointed and sent by the Father as THE SOLE REPRESENTATIVE of ALL PEOPLE in the work of salvation, and sees HIS DEATH on Calvary as an ACT OF SACRIFICE . Others looking on may have seen his death as a tragedy, as the death of a man being killed, but for Jesus it was an act of "laying down" His life in an act of perfect obedient love, "that the world may know I love the Father". How is it that the act of sacrifice is the most perfect symbol of our total unconditional love for God? We will consider that question in Blog # 88.

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