Last Wednesday, February 21, was Ash Wednesday. We begun our formal entry into the season of Lent: A Season of Love and Loving. Nothing can be more spectacular, more profound and dramatic than the Love of the Greatest Lover of all time: Our Lord Jesus Christ. We allowed the ministers of the Church to smear our foreheads with ash taken from the remains of palm branches of last year’s Domingo de Ramos. Just why are we doing this? Can we not just quietly go into a silent and less conspicuous way of reminding ourselves that despite our best efforts we have not approximated God’s glory and we falter along the way to perfection?
Actually, we can. But here's the catch: our Lord is a proud and loud Lover. He wants to declare from the top of the world, from deep within the deepest of seas and across broad valleys, how immense and great and lasting His love is for us! He is the type of God who wants to proclaim His undying love not simply by texting “luv u”. He wants us to understand, in loud and clear manner, and sometimes with accompanying heart-rending background music how He adores us. His love is not secretive and cannot be hidden like the love theme of the movie The Godfather:
Speak softly, Love so no one hears but the sky…
As much as possible Christ wants everyone to hear what He has in his heart. This He has shown by dying on the cross—perhaps the most scandalous and ridiculous event that happened in the history of mankind. And also the loudest. But that’s how He is, a fountain of love whose very essence is to give forth love. He was willing to undergo unspeakable torture and agony just to be able to communicate audibly this love which is also the Father’s love for Him. And for us. If there is a song that could capture this great love of Christ for us, it is Josh Groban’s Se from Cinema Paradiso:
If you were in my eyes for one day / You could see the full beauty of the joy / I find in your eyes / And it isn’t magic or loyalty / If you were in my heart for a day / You would have an idea / Of what I feel / When you hold me strongly to you / Heart to heart, / Breathing together / Protagonist of your love / I don’t know if it’s magic or loyalty / If you were in my soul for a day / You would know what is inside me / That I fell in love /At that instant, together with you / And what I sense / It’s only love. /
Huh! Tough love. Can anyone top that?