So, I know I mention it a lot, but I’m a theology teacher at a Catholic high school. I bring it up a lot, because often the things I’m talking about in class are what drive my thoughts for the pod and these blogs. Lately, I’ve been trying to explain to them that God’s love for us has no limits. Many of them have grown up in Catholic homes and Catholic schools, and so it’s not like I’m delivering new information to them, but there’s a real difference between hearing, knowing, and understanding it.
It’s difficult to imagine anything without limits, finite creatures that we are. For most of us, we talk about things going on forever that we actually know the limits of. Take the ocean, for example. We can stand on the coast, look out to sea, and it seems to be unending. Instinctively, in fact, we are even left in awe of it. At the same time, though, we know that there is more land out there eventually, even though we can’t see it. This kind of imprecise language isn’t bad, necessarily, but if it becomes a habitual thought pattern, it can cause problems. We just need to take the time to really think through how we’re using them in each case.
When trying to describe it to the students, examples are especially helpful at showing how God keeps blowing past any limits we might assume for what He’ll do to reach us. As a starting point, we can take creation itself. There is no self-serving reason for God to have created us in the first place. He doesn’t need anything, there’s nothing we can add to Him. We were created for the simple reason that He desired for us to know His love. Then, we rejected that love, thinking we could find something we’d like better. Surely, having denied His love would be enough to separate us from. The boundary was set.
Then, those limits were passed. God wasn’t willing to leave us alone and isolated, so instead, He chose a people as His own, so that this small part of humanity might serve as a beacon to call the rest back. To help them out, He gave them a very clear list of guidelines, ten things to do or avoid to draw nearer to Him. Needless to say, that didn’t really work either. We shattered those and went past the limits set for our own misguided desires. Even here, God steps out further. The guidelines weren’t enough, even with reminders provided by the prophets, so the Son of God, Jesus Christ, became man, walked among us, and established a Church on Earth to continue providing guidance and a path to Heaven. And if you thought God, the infinite, all powerful Creator becoming a human being was a lot, he goes even farther by offering Himself to us, even today, in the form of simple bread and wine.
There are no limits to what God has done, and none to what He will do for us even now. This is not endless like the sea, or the sky, or even the universe. This is limitless like all things in God are, eternal, without beginning or end. Completely past any limits.