One of the best known religious poems in the English Language is the “The Hound of Heaven.” It was written by Francis Thompson, who tried to run away from God. He compares God to a hound, yes, a hound dog chasing a soul. It is the story of Thompson’s own life. At the poorest and saddest stage of his life, through the kindness of a poor girl, Francis met, Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Meynell, who recognized his talent and inner goodness. They helped him get caught by God’s love. How he tried to run away from God, how God “hunted” him, how divine love caught up with him – these are the themes of this stirring poem.
The outstanding proof of God’s love for us is expressed in today’s Good News: “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. ”The heavenly Father proved his love for every one of us by sending His precious Son to win us back. Like Francis Thompson, souls run away from God. Like a hound running after a rabbit, God runs after every soul. Unlike the hound, God wants to save that soul, not destroy it.
How can we get some idea of how much The HOUND of Heaven loves us? In his letter to the Ephesians (3:18), St. Paul suggests that we think of the “breadth and length and height and depth” of God’s Love for us. God’s love for us is BROAD. It extends to every human being, to pagans, sinners, even to his enemies. God wants everyone to share in His goodness.
God’s love for us is LONG. “I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jer.21:3) God’s love stretches from eternity to eternity. God’s love for us is HIGH. It reaches from the throne of the Almighty in the highest heaven. The height of His love is shown in His gifts to us. What love could be higher than giving His own all good, all holy Son to us in Holy Communion? God’s love for us is DEEP. He humbled Himself from the highest heaven to the lowly stable in Bethlehem, to the slums and jungles, to the least of men, to the shame of a cross and to the depths of a tomb.
During Lent, we remember how Jesus gave His life for us. May the Hound of Heaven “catch” every one of us! God bless you.
This Sunday is called “Laetare” Sunday because it gives us a glimpse of Easter joy and the reason why the celebrant wear a Rose or a Pink vestment. This is the Second Scrutiny of the Elect. For us all, Daylight Saving Time begins. On the 17th, the optional memorial of St. Patrick is commemorated. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. God Bless!
Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,
#33 A JOKE FROM ST. JOE: In a Sunday school a little boy asked, “Do old men go to heaven?” The teacher answered, “Of course, they do. Why do you ask that question?” The little boy answered, “Because I have never seen old angels.” The teacher continued, “Well, because old men die young.”