Sunday, June 5, 2011

How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways ...

Well, the rains finally stopped around here, and I was able to get the garden planted --- only about a month later than last year. The sunshine and warm weather are being appreciated, and as you can see, the glads are, well, glad!

About a month ago my blog was “tagged” by Anne Bender and I was asked to write things I love about Jesus. I admitted to her that the request had me stumped; I couldn’t put my finger on a limited number of things or create some priority list I felt comfortable with. There was just so much to consider --- although I HAVE been considering it. More recently, Colleen has tagged my blog with a request to list my three favorite Bible verses, another difficult thing.

This morning at mass, on this feast day of the Ascension, some thoughts came to me which seemed somewhat to answer both requests. But despite the fact that both requests centered around Jesus, my answering thoughts, selfishly, centered around me.

I know that I exist so that I might give of myself, that I might love others. And I recalled that: We love, because He first loved us (1Jn 4:19). And with those thoughts, suddenly I clearly saw what I loved most about Jesus, and what were the related Bible verses:

1) Do not be anxious …. (Mt 6:25) That shouldn’t surprise you.

I think the words of Matthew 6:25-34 are the most important lines in the Bible (I was pointed to those words on my visit to Medjugorje). Those verses show God’s love in action, explained in simple ways that all men can see and understand. He takes care of the birds and even the flowers of the field, surely you can understand that He will take care of you. Do not be anxious. Those lines give me so much comfort. Those are the words said by a loving Father, my Father. No matter how bad things get, no matter how alone I feel, He is there.

What words could be more comforting in the Bible to a person who worries about so many things --- most of which are centered around himself? “I’ll take care of you.” Nothing in the Bible hits home with me more than that.

2) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (Jn 3:16)

After the first verse, telling me that my Father will take care of me here on earth --- my immediate worries, this second verse tells me yet again how much He loves me. He gave the world His only begotten Son, that I might have eternal life. I know there is a lot to be argued that this should be the first choice, not the second, but I was honest in saying that my selections are all about me. They’re selfish. And from the first moment I awake each day, I begin to worry about things of that day, not eternity. But while I selfishly worry about the little things, Jesus takes care of the big ones.

3) I, the Lord, am with you always, until the end of the world. (Mt 28:20)

This was the Ascension Day verse which first got me thinking this morning. I felt it as the tie between the first verse I chose --- He will take care of me here on earth --- and the second verse I chose --- He will give me eternal life. On Ascension Day Jesus connected this life to the next. He rose from this earth, and promised to go prepare a place for me, but that even in His going, He would be with me always.

Why do I love Jesus? What are my favorite Bible verses? These three are “comfort food” for me both bodily and spiritually. With them I know that I am loved, now and forever. With them I know I will be taken care of, now and forever. With them I know that no matter how far I stray, He will always be with me.

Anything else I feel about Jesus or the Bible just builds on these three. They’re the heart of the matter, selfishly, to me.

P.S. With “tags” among bloggers there is always a request to “tag someone else”. This time, however, I don’t think I will play along with that. Unlike so many other tags, designed to link you to the thoughts of others, for this tag I (selfishly, I guess) don’t care to read about others’ selections. Please don’t take offense, but anything else I could read on this topic might be “interesting,” but I don’t read blogs on the internet just for “interesting” ideas, but to learn and to grow from the words of others. On this topic, I am perfectly content with where I am at.

1 comment:

  1. Tom, thank you for responding to the tag. I think it's interesting that we know that in God's eyes, we are each the most beloved of all of His children. You are right to be selfish-He loves you the most as if you were the only one!