God’s Love Is Free The Banquet Says It All by Richard Rohr, O.F.M.

God is saying that, unlike what is usually the case in human love, God doesn’t rely upon people getting it right or doing it right. Human love depends upon the other. Is that person worthy? Is he or she attractive? Does that one merit my love? That’s the only way we humans know how to love. We hardly ever say, “Oh, I love you, you’re so ugly.” We love because we find something beautiful that we’re attracted to. God’s love is completely different. God’s love is not determined by the other.

Pause and consider this carefully: God’s love is determined by God’s goodness, and is no way dependent upon us. God tells us, I am being true to who I am in loving you. If you want to get God, if you want to pray right, remember these passages in Ezekiel and say, “O.K., God, you’ve got to do it. Your reputation is at stake. You’ve got to show me your goodness because I’ve told the people you’re good. You’ve got to be a Father to me and I will be a son or daughter to you”—and the love begins. That is the freedom of God’s love that Jesus came to proclaim.

Jesus is telling his followers: Get out of the worthiness game entirely. When you have a party invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind so that they cannot pay you back. This will mean you are fortunate. We see it at the wedding feast at Cana in John’s Gospel and we see it at the Last Supper. In the Gospels, the banquet is a wonderful symbol of God’s free and unconditional love—a love that is often ignored or rejected.

“Epiphany: You Can’t Go Home Again”

Love is always about giving up control, and people are trained to think of taking control—even of God. In my experience, most people would sooner be afraid and in control than in love and out of control.