Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; For Love is strong as Death, longing is fierce as Sheol. Its arrows are arrows of fire, flames of the divine. Deep waters cannot quench love, nor rivers sweep it away. Were one to offer all the wealth of his house for love, he would be utterly despised. (Song of Songs 8:5-7 NAB)
It is a surprise to discover these words in the Bible. Some would like them removed in place of something less imaginative. It is even more surprising that God loves us this way. St. Paul points to the same thing in the New Testament:
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1Corinthians 13:12-13 NAB)
We understand this experience from a human point of view. It is much more difficult to understand from a heavenly vantage point. Jesus teaches us love from many perspectives:
As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:9-14 NAB)
As we approach the last days of Lent there is one experience that drives all of what we do in these last weeks. It is perfect love that we are offered from the Cross. Open your heart to experience the presence of your loving God.
By the time you read this there should be panels set in place, as the new building takes shape. The transept extension should be moving into the finish stage. There is still much to be done, including the new East side parking lot, but the progress, which has been struggling to dodge the rain, is moving forward.
Of course, the financing for the transept extensions and the “pastoral center” is secure. As we conducted our campaign during lean times that need has been provided for by a new mortgage. This is, however, the limit that the Diocese will permit us to borrow under current budget numbers. Making the Pastoral Center a priority opens the use of the current administration building for youth and children’s ministry, as well as an expanded kitchen. Additional remodeling will be on a cash basis, as we cannot borrow more money.
Please be encouraged to give to the new building campaign. The success of our parish cannot be realized unless everyone participates.