Reflections of God's Goodness
From the very beginning, Pope Francis has continually called each of us to live a culture of encounter – an encounter with Jesus and an encounter with every person we meet.
Pope Francis wants us to be transformed by the radical love God showers on us so that we cannot help but give away the love we have received. Let’s face it, this is difficult for us! Sometimes, people are just not that loveable. Yet, God loves us despite our sins and despite our selfish ways. When we take time to contemplate the overwhelming, never-ending love of God, we can realize that it is precisely because we are so loved that we can give ourselves away to the people we meet.Pope Francis invites us to join in a revolution of tenderness!
True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness.
Pope Francis describes tenderness this way: “It is the love that comes close and becomes real. It is a movement that starts from our heart and reaches the eyes, the ears and the hands.”
In other words, it shows up in our actions! It means we intentionally sow the seeds of kindness and compassion throughout our day. Mother Teresa says it this way: “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
Experiment! Smile at people. Compliment people. Express thanks for even the smallest kindness and notice the response. Simple kindness can turn a day around or even change a life. Ask the Lord who He is calling you to love today, then look for the need.
As we approach the season of Lent, let’s plan to join in the revolution of tenderness and make this Lent a response to Jesus’ command, “Love one another.” Ask God where He wants you to live out a revolution of tenderness and love. In your family? In your parish? In your workplace?
May your Lent be filled with the blessing of tenderness, both given and received.
Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn, SNDdeN
Director of Development
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.