1st Sunday in Lent

Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Wow, what a tall order! Yesterday I wondered at how exhausting this could be.

But in answer to yesterday’s two pitfalls about trying to love God, today I think of these words as an invitation. After all, God has loved us before we could ever think of loving God in return. Our love is a response to God’s love. In fact, we wouldn’t be able to love at all without God’s love welling up in us. True love is never forced or ordered or an overwhelming burden. True love is a gift. True love is grace. It sets us free to be human beings in the way we were created to be. True love, whether receiving it or offering it, brings the best out of us.

Loving God is not meant to be exhausting. Instead it is leaning back and taking a long, deeply human breath. Loving God shapes our heart, expands our soul, renews our mind and recharges our strength.