Fourth Sunday of Lent
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
How can we image unconditional love? Yet, in this story, that is what Jesus describes. It is a love that endures beyond all the pain, disappointment and rejection inflicted by the loved one. It is a compassionate and forgiving love which embraces the loved one without rancor or recrimination. Unconditional love understands weakness without being weak, selfishness without being selfish, dishonesty while maintaining integrity, and callousness while itself being vulnerable to rejection. Unconditional love sees the other clearly but even though it has insight, it sets no limits. It seems unimaginable that anyone can love like this, but in this story it is the image Jesus paints of the unconditional love of God for us. No matter how weak we are, no matter how self-centered, no matter how low we fall, we can always go home to God’s welcoming love.
Love one another as I have loved you.
Reflect on what it means to be loved unconditionally. Do you believe God loves you like this? Have you ever experienced this type of love ?
I love you with an everlasting love.
Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us.
1 John 4:10-11
The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.
The greatest gift that you can give to others is the gift of unconditional love and acceptance.
Perfect love is any time you love unconditionally, without selfish intent, without concern for personal gain.
Indeed, a quick glance around this broken world makes it painfully obvious that we don’t need more arguments on behalf of God; we need more people who live as if they are in covenant with Unconditional Love, which is our best definition of God.
Robin R. Meyers
The only way love can last a lifetime is if it’s unconditional. The truth is this: love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.
Love is not dependent on someone or something outside of you. One chooses to be Love in each moment as the moment unfolds, regardless of what happened in that moment.
Cardwell C. Nuckols