Written by: Thomas Mooney, UF Student

    You are loved. Yes, you are loved by your friends, your family and others around you. However, you are also loved by the God of the universe, the Blessed Trinity, the All-Powerful in Heaven. We’ve all heard this countless times and we claim to believe it, but how many of us can truly say that we KNOW this to be true?

    In the second reading we hear something which seems obvious to us. St. Paul tells the Romans “… you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear”. This statement seems obvious to us, Christ came to set us free! But in those times, to many people and in many religions, the idea of a god was of a ruling master, one to whom we must be subservient. These gods were harsh, punishing, and strict. To these people, the Gospel, the idea of a loving God was nothing they had ever heard. Moses even exclaimes in the first reading that such a God had never been heard of before. A God who would choose a people in love, raise them up and defend them, free them from earthly slavery and grant them triumph over their enemies. Moses was astounded by the love of God, and he did not even get to witness the greatest act of God’s love: His coming down, humbling of Himself in human flesh, and His willing death for His people. God died for you out of love. The next line from Paul tells the Romans they are received by the Father in adoption! Not only does God love you, but He wants you as His own. We are the beloved children of the All-Powerful God. We are called to cry out to him as our “Abba”, our Father, our Dad. We hear in the Psalm today that the Lord has chosen us, He made the choice to claim us.

    So, by now you should know what God has done out of love for you. He has done more than any mere human could. Yet, why is it we do not feel his love at times? To answer this question, let’s ask ourselves a couple of other questions. What have we done for God out of love? Many times we find ourselves complaining Mass was too long or bolting out of church as soon as the closing song ends, and some of us even before that! Are we not able to give the Lord just a little more time? Are the things we are rushing off to do really that much more important than our relationship with God? We sin and we go to confession, but do we confess because we have hurt God and we want make amends or do we confess because we did something bad and we don’t want to go to Hell? How often do we take time out of our day to pray, to speak to God and share our love with him? The issue isn’t God failing to offer us love, He is always and forever offering His love to us. We on the other hand, we have to choose to receive His love by returning it back to Him. We must do our part in this relationship, committing the time and the effort to love God. Ask any married couple and they will tell you that a relationship founded in love only works if both people are offering their love to each other.

    So, you are loved, whether you choose to accept it or not. You are claimed by the almighty and eternal God as His kin, whether you accept that calling or not. God is your “Abba”, whether you come to Him or not. Let us accept His love, act like children of God and let us turn to our Father in Heaven when we face troubles. Then, we shall come to KNOW the love of God.