THE LOVE OF CHRIST
“That you may be able to comprehend with all the saints,
what is the breadth and length, what is the depth and height,
and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge
that you may be filled with the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:18-19).
The love of Christ is beyond knowledge and it is not possible by only reading about it and thus acquire that love. But when Christ comes and dwells within us by our decision to welcome Him then we will experience His great love which is beyond all knowledge. As one who has never tasted honey cannot have an idea of its sweetness and taste. So when Christ comes and enters the heart of a man, he by experience tastes the inexpressible flavor of Christ’s love. His love is sweet and utterrly inebriates our hearts in its embrace.
The attempts to speak of Christ’s love are not simple to express, but many have at least made the attempt. We can see the effects of God’s great love for man in His actions which we can more easily speak about. God creates out of love, He became an incarnate man like us out of love. He underwent great suffering and much abuse out of His love for us. His immense love discloses to us our future honor and glory which He wills out of love to bestow upon us. In the future eternal life death will not exist, but beautiful eternal life will fill its partakers with ever divine delight.
He demonstrated his eternal love especially by his great suffering and sacrifice on the Cross. But this sacrifice perpetually continues in the entire Church of Christ, for His sacrifice was not once only, but is continuous and perpetual and is celebrated as the Holy Eucharist in the Divine Liturgy. There is nothing greater than the immense love of Christ and its delightful fragrance pours into into the souls of the faithful ones, and like a mighty river the souls delight in its great abundance.
“That you may be able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth and length, what is the depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge”
It says: “That you may be able to comprehend”; but how are we made able to comprehend except by our own experience the love of Christ? It is by approaching him with firm and determined faith, realizing our misery and the greatness of the God of all, who out of His extreme love bestows upon us our spirits and our formation and existence. We live in His world, we eat His food, drink His water, we breath His air, and He continually nourishes our bodies and souls. How can we show Him our gratitude? By honoring our Father in heaven, and keep all the commandments of His Son Jesus Christ.
“That you might be filled with the fulness of God”, indeed for God is the our fulness and the source and originator of everything and all that we possess or ever will possess are from His bounty. If we have God and nothing else we have everything. But if we have everything else and not God we are already dying and soon will have nothing but suffering and torment, for all matter is already dead, but the spirit given by God within us is eternal life!
The love of Christ has no bounds for it spreads over all creation filling it with beauty and happiness. When we are filled with the love of God we have everything good and beautiful and in need of nothing. God is love and He delightfully pours out His love into our hearts and souls. God is compassionate and merciful and bestows His many blessings upon our souls. God is life and fills our souls himself who is everlasting life. Truly we are blessed to have knowledge of God and to experience His love which is the source of all happiness. But to really love God and bask in His love is to become filled with Him, for then our souls will become delightfully enriched. We will be enabled to more readily observe what is the breadth and length, what is the depth and height of God’s love for us? Blessed are those who come to realize an give priority and importance to these things for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Shining over all His works is the bright and beautiful love which God bestows on His personally created man. What honor can a man desire that attempts to substitute the honor given Him by God?