God’s will for every person is to restore His image and likeness in each of us. His will is infinite! His desire and promises cannot change! He cannot stop loving us!
“My love shall never leave you, nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord.”
God knows we human beings change so often, in our thoughts, our desires, our decisions and attitudes, our dealings with one another and with ourselves. Before we were born, He knew our faults and failings, our sins and our terrible inordinate love of self. Yet in His infinite mercy He still loved us infinitely. The cure for all the havoc and sin caused by original sin in each person is His only Son, Jesus Christ.
“It pleased God to make absolute fullness reside in Him, and by means of Him to reconcile everything in His person, both on earth and in the heavens, making peace through the blood of His cross.”
Since Christ Jesus is God as well as man, His desires and plans for us are also infinite. He knows, that by helping us to become more like Him, we also become more like His heavenly Father.
“Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father.” “The Father and I are one.”
In His life on earth Christ Jesus reveals His absolute and infinite love for His Father. He loved to talk about Him and reveal Him as a Father of infinite love and mercy. The Gospels are steeped in the love affair between Jesus and His Father, the desires and plans for us and the desires and plans of the Father. “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.”
Jesus told us to call God “our Father” when we pray. He also said that anything we ask from the Father in His name He will give to us.
“I give you my assurance, whatever you ask the Father He will give you, in my name . . . ask and you will receive that your joy may be full.”
What is preventing us from totally accepting the infinite love and mercy of God in our lives? The remnants of original sin in me put up many blocks and barriers to God and His love. Sometimes I see only darkness and sin in me. My past faults and failings and sins haunt me, even though I want to believe in the forgiveness of God. I am reminded of what St. Ignatius of Loyola said: “Discouragement is never from God, because it clouds faith and hope” To be honest, I also have glimpses of the goodness in me and of my desire to love God. I have told many people over the years that, if we were to weigh goodness and sin, in most of us the good would be far greater than the sin. The road of love is not always easy but, through it all, God prevails with His help and mercy.
I have learned that there is more of God in us than there is us in us. Also, God is nearer to us than we are to ourselves. St. Catherine of Genoa said, “My me is God and I do not recognize any other me but God Himself.” This is incarnation through Christ Jesus! He will never give up on us no matter what happens in our lives.
There is no work of art in this world that could compare with Christ Jesus’ work to restore the image and likeness of God in each of us. No one wants us to be like God more than God himself.
“Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin; who does not persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency, and will again have compassion on us treading underfoot our guilt? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins; you will show faithfulness to Jacob, and grace to Abraham, as you have sworn to our Fathers from days of old.”
FATHER BRASSIL is a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York.