Too Deep To Understand
Lent Sunday 4 (B) (18 Mar 2012)
2Ch 36. 14-16, 19-23; Ps 137; Eph 2. 4-10; Jn 3. 14-21
By compassionate treatment, God desired to inspire humans, and especially God’s chosen people, to treat each other and all people that way. The Hebrew word for compassion shares the same root as “womb,” so that compassion is related to a mother’s feeling for her child.1 So the Prophet Isaiah spoke on behalf of God: [Thus says the Lord:] Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.2 Appreciating those words on a human level led God’s people to value and practice three distinguishing marks of being loved by God: showing compassion; being modest; and doing deeds of loving kindness.3 We continue that Jewish tradition.
Because we cannot understand it, liturgy offers us the luxury of being loved by God using all our senses. We hear God speak God’s love of us in Jesus by their Spirit in every sacrament. We sing of God’s love and express our desire to receive it. Our eyes are treated to how God so loved the world each time we see the crucifix. We feel the strong tenderness of God’s care when holy oil reassures us at crucial moments in our lives and, we take in the sweet aroma of God’s care. We taste God’s love given for us in Jesus’ body and blood.
- Bask in the love the Trinity showers on you.
- Ask Nicodemus to present you to Jesus so you may speak with him.
- Thank Jesus for loving you. Speak to Jesus about how you welcome love and how you are showing love. Receiving love, often very challenging, shapes us into people who give love well.
- Ask Jesus to help you welcome his love of you more freely.
- Close by saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. The words daily bread include all the ways God loves us. We need it so we can forgive, which is to love as God loves.
- raḥamim and reḥem, compassion and womb.
- Isaiah 49.15.
- Yevamot 79a.