(Photo by Gina Delrosario)

(Photo by Gina Delrosario)

Living and Growing: How much love?

Part one of a two-part series

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

Do you believe in God, the Father, the Almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified, died and was buried? Do you believe that on the third day Jesus rose again from the dead, He ascended into Heaven and He is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting? Do you believe that God is your Father in Heaven, you are His child, He loves you so much, and He wants to give you eternal life in Heaven?

I am a mother of three. When my oldest was born, I gave him all my love. When my second son arrived, I, again, gave him all my love. I poured all my love, too, when our youngest was born. As a mother, I learned that the human heart has an enormous capacity to love unconditionally, more than one person at a time. Being a mother gave me a glimpse of God’s love for us, His children, here on Earth.

During Holy Week, we remember the pain and sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the dead. At the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ heart was filled with anguish, and He sweat turned to blood as He saw future generations continue the path of sin despite His dying on the Cross for us.

He, who is the King of Kings, our Lord and Savior, was captured, tied, mocked, humiliated, beaten, scourged at the pillar, crowned with thorns, carried the heavy cross, nailed to the cross and died for us — the good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep. As I meditate on the passion of Christ, I think about our Most Holy Mother Mary’s sorrows — men sinned and put to death God’s only begotten Son who came to this world to save and to give us eternal life.

Each year, at the beginning of our Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday, Catholics wear the sign of the cross on their forehead — we are dust, and to dust we shall return.

When I pray, I used to ask our Father in Heaven “Why did You give us Your only Son to die on the cross when we are nothing but dust and sin?” God’s answer is simple: “I AM LOVE.” Although we are dust, He created us in His image, gave us a spark of Himself Who is light and love, giving our heart this enormous capacity to love. Our mission, as disciples of Christ, is to bring His love and light to others.

What is inside our heart and mind these days? Is it still God’s love, light, and joy? Or did the devil sow hatred, vengeance, malice, envy, jealousy, lust, gluttony, pride, and other sins? Do we still harbor old anger and resentment for past pain? Are we drowning in sins and problems that have no end? Are we afraid that this world will condemn us if we mention about God and prayer?

For many years, I pursued what I thought were most important in life – material things for my family, money, career, the next promotion, etc. Three years ago, God showed me what really matters.

Part Two will appear in the next Living and Growing.

Gina Del Rosario is a Roman Catholic who was born and raised in the Philippines, and is a parishioner at Saint Paul’s Catholic Church in Juneau. “Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Saturday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page

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