God’s Merciful Love
This Sunday Saint Paul, as he writes to Christians in Rome, begs the question: What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Good question! I suppose that there may be many answers to Paul’s question, but one that occurs to me quite quickly is that “human up-screwing” of God’s order and plan is all too often the culprit. As we speak, there are human beings blocking and otherwise preventing the available aid and resources to get to millions of suffering and desperate people in oppressed and besieged parts of the world. Yes, brainwashed people who, as the prophet Jeremiah would put it, “walk in the stubbornness of their hearts,” cannot even bring safety and security to children! Really? What conceivable ideology or belief could rationalize such a strategy, and for what? This is “human up-screwing” at its absolute worst. This is sin in our faces and it is being paraded before humanity across the screens of social networking around the world as we speak. There remains all of the rest that does not make it to the screen— all that does not get imaged or have a voice. If this is not a separation from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,” what is it?
Saint Paul, after all, answers his own question with the declaration that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God—“neither death, nor life”—nor anything on the long list of other categories he goes on to list. How then?
Well, Paul talks about what—not about who. The who are the perpetrators of sin, that is, the willful attempt to block God’s redeeming and merciful love. Make no mistake: Saint Paul is absolutely right as he further declares: “No, in all these things WE conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.” After the outcry has finally made it through the media, governments, and the organs of charity, God’s love will win out through loving, compassionate human aid and care somewhat in this life—here on this earth—but most assuredly God’s love will win out in the gift of heaven to those innocent who have already passed from this life to the next. Then God’s love wins big time!
In the gospel passage today from Matthew, Jesus feeds and takes care of human hunger in a situation found to be impossible for humans alone. This is one of the many examples that Our Lord provides to show us how believers should conduct themselves—with faith. In the end, “They all ate and were satisfied…”. As Jesus’ disciples, we respond to the overwhelming effects of sin in the world, not with despair, but with faith. It means living life with abiding belief that nothing— NOTHING—can separate us from God’s merciful love.