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No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; And no one puts new wine into old wineskins.

In this third week of Pre-Lent, Quinquagesima, we consider the power of overwhelming love.

I remember my Kindergarten girlfriend, Donna, my 8th grade girlfriend Lori, and perhaps a few others before finally meeting and falling in love with Renee.

We may all recall that special person we were attracted to and perhaps fell in love with. If we really consider the difference between the girlfriends and boyfriends we may have had and perhaps the person we finally entered relationship with, we will note differences in the depth and breadth of our love. That is important to remember since we see today God calling out in love to His people, seeking response.

God says He will give His beloved people everything. He pledges Himself to them. Not only that, but those who are His people will respond in love. What a beautiful vision of mutual love – deep love that knows no limit, where no sacrifice is too great – even to the sacrifice of Jesus for all of us.

I will betroth you to me forever: I will betroth you to me with justice and with judgment, with loyalty and with compassion; I will betroth you to me with fidelity, and you shall know the LORD.

Some may say: If I only had that kind of love in my life! Let us not forget that we already have that love it in Jesus.

Paul reminds the Church in Corinth that the relationship of love within the Christian Church is a letter, written on our hearts. The Holy Spirit writes God’s love within us – within our entirety. That love written in us is to be known and read by everyone.

Our relationship with God, in the best way, is the model for our relationship with each other. God’s model allows us to love not with mere infatuation or passion, not only on occasion, but with the totality of our being all the time.

The covenant relationship Jesus came to establish with us is one of total love. It is a call to mutuality. He tells us that something new is among us – new wine that will not work in old systems of relationship. Our way of life is not like anything of old. He tells the Pharisees to see things with new eyes, with new hearts open to love.

As we prepare to enter Lent, let us focus on the grandeur of God’s love and offer Him our entire selves in love.

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