February 26, 2008
Our love should be unconditional, too
By Bishop Michael O. Jackels *

By Bishop Michael O. Jackels *

How does the message of hope change lives?

We need food, water and other such essentials to survive. As we are a unity of body, mind and soul, our needs go beyond mere material sustenance. We also need to know and feel that we are loved by someone.

If you doubt the need to be loved, just look at the host of ills that can come from being deprived. For example, having to do or say things (that we do not mean or believe) to win love. Living in fear of rejection and losing love if we do or say the wrong thing.  Relieving the pain caused by being deprived of love with things like food, sex, alcohol or drugs. It can also inspire anger, resentment, bitterness and self-pity, sometimes expressed in vengeance and violence.

The kind of love that responds to our need needs to be unconditional. We are loved because we are, we exist. This quality of love is freely given; it can neither be earned nor lost. Unconditional love is total, without limit and without end.

God created us with this need and also provides for it. In God’s plan, a child is fruit of the love between husband and wife and born into the stable relationship of their marriage and family. This is ideally where a child is assured of being loved unconditionally. As a result, we feel safe and secure.

Reality does not often reach the ideal, especially given our weakened human nature after the fall of Adam and Eve. Peers, school settings and work situations can also contribute to a feeling of not being loved or loveable.

How does the message of hope change lives? By assuring us that, if by no one else, we are personally known and loved by God. He wants us to be and waits for us to be in communion with him in heaven. We can reach this goal by faithfully following Jesus, the Good Shepherd who shows us the way to eternal life in heaven.

God’s love is unconditional. Read for example Isaiah 49:15-16 and Romans 5:8. This is also the quality of love (cf. Matthew 5:43-48) that we are commanded to have for our neighbor, especially our most proximate neighbor, ourselves (St. Catherine of Siena).

With that assurance there is at least the chance of being free of the fear, pain and self-pity that is often associated with being deprived of unconditional love. Our lives are changed and as a consequence the world too.

The original story can be found at the Catholic Advance.

Most Rev. Michael Jackels is bishop of Wichita, Kansas.
« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: