I would like to share in this post some thoughts about our amazing God - a God who loves us unconditionally - no strings attached - and wants just the best for us. Our God has a love that can never be surpassed by any other and is brought to us through God's creation of us and our world, God's redemption of us through his Son, Jesus Christ, and God's sanctification of us through the Holy Spirit.
This amazing God has been the subject of many books, works of art and great pieces of music that attempt to capture for us the awesomeness of our God. Nothing we do or create can, of course, come close to recognizing or understanding all that God means to us but we must try. We also must try to share with others what we know and learn about our God in the hope that others may see and appreciate God's great gifts to all of us.
Let me share with you some of the reflections of my own bishop, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of the Diocese of Albany in the State of New York. In a column he wrote some years ago after His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI had issued his first encyclical Deus Caritas Est, the bishop had this to say about our amazing God:
...The most important truth about every person - young or old, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, brilliant or intellectually challenged, black, white, red, yellow, brown - is that God is deeply in love with that person....God does not love a person because the person is lovable. Rather, the person is lovable because God loves him or her....When we were created, God made a commitment to love us, and he will never withdraw that love....God cannot love us more than he loves us at this moment because he loves us infinitely right now....God is passionately in love with us. That's a joyous and incredible message, which God has revealed to us in the Scriptures.
What wonderful thoughts; how can we not be moved by the fact of God's love for us. The bishop also reminded us that we are called in turn to love others to emulate the love God has for us. This desire to reach out to others has resulted in our Albany Diocese commencing in 2010 a three year program known as the Amazing God Initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to rekindle the light of faith and the enthusiasm of Catholics in our part of the Church. It means nurturing the faith of those who are involved in the Church as well as reaching out to others who may have become alienated from the Church or have no faith tradition.
The first year of the initiative which is shortly coming to its close speaks of the love of God as shown throughout the course of history particularly in the Old Testament. Year two will address the Heart of Christ and will focus on Jesus' saving work among us, and the third year will deal with the Holy Spirit and the Spirit's great gifts and how those gifts now affect our world.
In future posts I will update my readers concerning this wonderful initiative and hope that the message of God's great love will be received and cherished. At the opening prayer service to launch this special initiative in June of 2010, Father Frank DeSiano, a Paulist priest whose work is in the field of evangelization made these interesting and thought provoking statements:
We are always pointing a finger, "no, no, no", "sin, sin, sin." We have to say some of that but before we do we need to say: "love, peace, welcome." We need to embody the love of God....God is amazing. Jesus revealed a God of unrestricted, overwhelming love that cannot be stopped.
To learn more about the Amazing God initiative of the Albany Diocese, please contact their web site: www.amazinggodrcda.org. Yes, our God is truly amazing. May this amazing God be always with you and shower his love upon you.