How much are we loved by God! In today’s Gospel Jesus says that every hair on our head has been counted, we are known and loved intimately by our loving Father, He knows us so deeply that our every breath is cherished by Him. How can we be afraid of anything when we are loved so much? But love requires a response, we can either accept Gods love or we can reject it, this is the beauty of free will, we have the choice. But here Jesus gives us a warning, he knows that the rejection of God’s love can only lead to one outcome, separation from God. That separation from God we call ‘Hell’ and we have the power and ability to reject Heaven and damn ourselves to Hell, it’s a scary prospect. So we must respond to Gods love with love, we must love God and love our neighbour, not because we are scared of Hell, but rather because love is what we are made for, we are created in the image of God and His image is love. A line in a book I read stood out to me, it said “the locks to the doors of hell are on the inside”, in other words we lock ourselves into hell by rejecting God and rejecting heaven.
It’s all too easy to become self-obsessed, to look inwards rather than to look outwards, but love is directed outwards, we don’t want to keep it to ourselves we want to share it. It’s very much like a piece of music we really enjoy or a good book or a meal, we want others to experience it we want to share it. Of course it’s easy to love those that love us, the real trick is to love unconditionally, to love those who may not love us back in response. If we can do this we take a step closer to heaven and just imagine what kind of world this would be if we could all love unconditionally and want the best for the other! I think it may well be heaven on earth.