“As the Father loves me, so I love you. Love one another as I love you. A few years ago there were black and white billboards along I 10 with messages from God. Here are some of them. “Tell the kids I love them.. God.”

“Let’s meet at my house on Sunday before the game..God.” “That ‘love thy neighbor thing, I meant it. God” “I love you, and you, and you..God.” Short pithy statements that remind us of the central message of the Gospel and the Easter season! “God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son, so that we may not perish, but may have eternal life.”

It is because God loves you, and you and me that we spend the 50 days of Easter reflecting on and celebrating the fact that God became a human person, he suffered and died to forgive our sins, rose from the dead and gave us the
promise of eternal life. What an awesome God we serve!

It is because God loves us that we spend time each day in prayer listening to him and asking his help. It is because God loves us that we gather each Sunday before the game, to listen to his Word in Sacred Scripture and be nourished by his Body and Blood in the Eucharist so that we may go from this place to be his witnesses in the world.

It is because God love us, that we tell the kids that God loves them. Parents first do this at home. From their earliest days, children should be told that “Jesus loves them this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Catholic schools and Parish Schools of Religion tell the children the same message, by prayer, by teaching them about Jesus, His Church, and how God wants them to be his disciples in the world. They need to hear this message over and over again.
It is because God loves us that we examine our lives to see if we are on the right path that leads us to Him. If not, we correct our course, ask His forgiveness and resolve to do better.

It is because God loves us that we try by God’s grace to love others the way God loves us. “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” God knows this is not easy. It’s relatively easy to love someone who loves us, but it can be very difficult and challenging to love someone who has hurt us or disrespected us, who gets on our nerves. Jesus experience all this during his lifetime. People rejected him. His closest friends abandoned him and betrayed him, yet it was because of the Father’s love for him, that Jesus could ask the Father to forgive them for they know not what they are doing. It is only when we are transformed by God grace that we can love others, even our enemies as God loves us and them.

There’s one other message that should be on a billboard and that is “I’ll be back.. God”. Every Sunday in the Creed we say that “Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead.” On that day, each of us will have to give an account of our lives, how we have loved God and others the way God loves us. May God be pleased with what we say! Amen