A certain little girl in school was a real “problem child” —- or so thought her teacher. One day the teacher saw this child walk outside by herself. She walked to a tree down the block and tied some pieces of paper to the tree. “Aha,” thought the teacher, “now I’ve got her.”
She went out and retrieved the pieces of paper. On them the little girl had written, “
To whoever finds this. . . I love you.”
All of us need love. All of us are made of love, to love. That’s why we’re here. We may have found glimpses of it in our ourselves, our parents, siblings, classmates, spouse, and children. We may have searched for it in the wrong places — in sin or in fantasies —rather than in reality. But we’re here to find it fulfilled in God, the very Body and Blood of His Son. We’re here to give it back in praise and thanksgiving and sacrifice.
Love is the essence of God. Loving relationship forms the essence of God: One God in Three Divine Persons. A possible way to think about it is that the Father continually gives himself to the Son, and the Son continually gives himself to the Father, and the very self that they give is the Holy Spirit.
This central mystery of our Christian faith distinguishes us from all other religions. Christians alone believe in One God who nonetheless exists in Three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“God so loved” us that He “gave his only Son” so that “the world might be saved.” Rather than remain within God’s self, God goes out of God’s self creating, redeeming, sanctifying humanity in an unequaled act of love.
That little girl was thought to be a “problem child” by her teacher, and her teacher was out to get her. What she found on that note stuck in the tree was simply the girl offering love. She wasn’t finding it at her school or at home. Where would she find it?
Fr. Mark Zacker