"As my Abba has loved me, so have I loved you. Live on in my love."
John 15:9 (INT)
Did you ever watch loving parents holding their small children? Sometimes a toddler will climb all over Daddy, or an infant
will sleep peacefully in Mother's arms. These families are "living words of Love." They are examples of Jesus' dream of love for all of us.
Jesus' love for us is the same as God's love for Jesus: infinite, boundless, tender, passionate, eternal, beyond our wildest dreams. Think of it! You and I and all God's people are loved as if each of us was Jesus. We share the same inheritance as the Jesus of history. And all of us are called to truly live every moment of our lives in the depths of so great a love.
What does this mean to us? It is a bit overwhelming-such good news that we need time to absorb it, contemplate it, share it, celebrate it. Perhaps this is the perfect time to let this dream of love wash over us like the soothing waters of a hot shower after a hard day of work or like the rain that soaks the earth, preparing the soil for the sprouting of life-filled seeds.
As we become aware that we are transformed- insofar as we have allowed God's transformation to inform us- we are this loving Jesus-presence in the world around us. We are the love of Jesus in our relationships with everyone. How does this change our world?
Close your eyes and visualize God as a loving parent holding you close. Be aware that your loving God wants to heal any hurts or wounds in your life that might block you from experiencing infinite, boundless, deep love. Rest in God's embrace and allow yourself to receive from God the love that you have needed but have not received.
Consider how you can celebrate love in your life today. As ideas and thoughts emerge, reflect on what difference these would make if you tried them. Make a specific plan to adopt at least one of these ideas. As you do so, be aware that you are a "living word ofLove" this day.
Converse with God about your dreams. If you would like, write a conversation between you and God. As you do so, use words, impressions or pictures to express anything you are aware of.
Invite God to reveal to you any relationships or areas in your life in which you need to feel Divine Love. Open yourself to the fullness of the Holy One's love for you, and let this love energize your love of self and others.
Imagine ways you can understand other people more deeply. Practice holding thoughts ofloving kindness about one or two people whom you find irritating. Imagine accepting these people as God accepts and loves them. Let go of any negative or hostile thoughts about them. Every time you think of these people, look deeply into their hearts with understanding and compassion-the way God always looks at you and at them.
Affirm God's dream of love by repeating one of the following prayers, or create your own positive statement of God's love for you. Repeat it throughout the day.
(Your name), I love you as I love Jesus. (Your name), I smile at you this day. (Your name), I give you boundless love. (Your name), I love through you.
(Your name), you are my radiant reflection.
(Your name), your love heals and comforts.
Make this your prayer today:
0 God of Dreams, reveal your Spirit gifts within me that I might be able to nourish these seeds of your hope, ready to serve you in good times and in bad times all the days of my life. May I walk hand in hand with my sisters and brothers as we create a world of compassion and justice thatwill circle the globe with hope. Together, may we all dream new dreams of living in your infinite, boundless love forever and ever.
( From A Promise of Presence by Bridget Mary Meehan sfcc and Regina Madonna Oliver sfcc published by ACTA)