“Even if a mother forgets the child in her womb, I will never forget you, for I have inscribed your name on the palm of my hands.” Isaiah 49:15
The Intense Love of our Heavenly Father
I recently learnt something that has completely changed my life. Even though I was brought up in a good Christian family, the Sacrament of Reconciliation was never very important to me. In fact I hadn’t been to confession for three years. Then I went on a Sehion Youth retreat where they talked about the Sacrament and I was convinced about the importance of confession and decided that I should go once again. During my confession, the atmosphere overwhelmed me; I could feel this intense love and forgiveness of the heavenly Father as tears rolled down my eyes. The priest held my hand and reminded me that Jesus has forgiven all my sins and made me a new creation.
I used to fake Godliness!
Sometimes, it is hard for us teenagers to accept God’s love because of the obstacles we face in our daily lives. We doubt God’s immense love because we say to ourselves how can God ever accept sinners like us? Before knowing Jesus, I was one of those typical girls who pretended to be holy and religious. I used to tell others that nothing was more important than Jesus in my life and advise others to be good. But I was a complete hypocrite inside, I used to fake godliness. To the people around me I would act humbly and sincerely, but when I got home I would be rude and often treated my family with disrespect. In fact, when my parents would call me to join family prayers, I always refused them saying that I didn’t need God.
What is Love?
But my life was not going the way I wanted it to go. During my middle school years I faced huge struggles, I was always getting into trouble, mistreating everyone around me, and hurting my loved ones, including my parents. I blamed God for everything in my life and I vividly remember telling my mom that God was never going to solve my problems. It felt that my life had literally hit rock bottom. At that time, I started asking myself, what is this love? What does it mean “to love”? At times it is hard to imagine a love that is greater than that of hardworking parents or trustworthy friends or the passionate bond between husband and wife. Believe it or not, this unimaginable love really exists. This love is enduring, everlasting, and the deepest love of them all, yet the hardest to understand. That is the love of our Heavenly Father.
I will Never Forget You
I remember during my early teenage years, there were times when I slipped away from the faith. There were also times when my own family gave up on me as a way of disciplining me but my “Heavenly Father” never gave up. He came running to me, hugged me, and whispered in my ear that he needed me and he came to find his lost sheep. This is the love of our Abba Father. Isaiah 49:15 says “Even if a mother forgets the child in her womb, I will never forget you, for I have inscribed your name on the palm of my hands.” I learnt that no matter how much we are drowning in our sins or how many wrong turns we might have taken in our lives, Jesus waits for us with his arms open wide, ready to welcome us and celebrate our homecoming just like the prodigal son. Despite all our sins, his mercy and love are poured out upon us unconditionally. Our sins and fears are nothing compared to the love which our Lord Jesus Christ has in store for us. St. Paul declares in Romans 8:38, ‘Nothing of this world can separate us from the love of God.’ Nothing!
The Crucifix tells us how much he loves us
Two thousand years ago, Jesus did something that changed the perspective of every person who has ever lived. As he took his last breath upon the cross, he only thought of you and me. The only thought which crossed His mind was to forgive us, so that we can live in eternity with him, along with all the holy angels and saints. We may call ourselves unworthy but Jesus sacrificed his life for us because we are worthy. The Crucifix is enough to tell us how much He loves us. This is the great love of our Saviour. Today I am very happy to have gone through all those hardships in my life, because they have helped me to understand God better and to get closer to Him.
Loving Jesus, give us the grace to love you unconditionally all the days of our life. Come Holy Spirit! Enkindle in us the fire of your love. Amen.
Written by Jenny Simon