“God loves you.” We’ve all heard that phrase hundreds of times; we have probably all said that phrase. Kris Frank’s keynote address on Saturday night challenged all of us to look at God’s love with new eyes by pondering the cross.
Searching for Love
Kris shared the story of being in high school and not understanding God’s love. Instead, he sought love by figuring out how he could fit in with different groups of kids at school by wearing different masks. Despite learning how to fit in, Kris realized he never was really happy. We can all relate to Kris’ experience as we all find ourselves acting less than our genuine selves sometimes.
Kris’ attitude changed one day when he was in detention. His teacher asked him a pointed question: “How’s God loving you?” The question left Kris speechless, but it also prompted him to pray in a genuine way. He prayed asking to see where God was leading him and loving him. He prayed with Scriptures, truly searching for an answer to the question posed by his teacher.
God’s Love Found on the Cross
In his searching, Kris didn’t exactly find an answer; he found a person. He found Jesus. Jesus is faithful even when we are faithless. Jesus is consistent even though we are perfectly inconsistent. Jesus sees our sin and muck and, yet, still runs to us.
Kris reminded all of us that we have a reminder of how much Jesus loves us when we look at the cross. Kris pointed our attention to John 19:28: “After this Jesus, knowing that all was finished, he says, I thirst.” Why would the God of the universe, the God who created water, make such a statement?
Christ was thirsting for each of us. Kris pointed out that the crucifixion was not merely a historical event; it is a personal event. He died for each of us, as if we were the only one out there. Jesus saw you and was willing to pay the price for us, no matter what the cost was.
Our Identity Is In God’s Love
In the Gospel of John, he rarely refers to himself by name. Instead, he calls himself “the beloved one.” John was obsessed with the love of God. In his first epistle, he talks about love forty-four times. Indeed, 1 John 4:9-10 says:
In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
This is the very love offered to us in the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus’s love is waiting for us in every tabernacle and every Adoration chapel.
Are we willing to let go of all the other things we have been using to define ourselves and hold on to the one last thing thing by which we can define our lives: the amazing, scandalous love of God?
If God loves me, why don’t I see it? Why don’t I feel it? Why does my grandma have cancer?
If you don’t know where to look to know that you are valuable, loved, cherished – just look at the cross.
We’re so tired, so exhausted, bc we’ve been trying to earn the love of God, even though it’s offered freely to us on the cross.