Brothers and sisters in Christ, God wants us, Christ wants all of us, God’s children, to be truly His own. He wants us to give of ourselves, fully and entirely to God, in love. He wants us to follow Him, and follow His teachings of love, the commandments of love He had given to all of us, through His apostles, whom He first called to follow Him and became His disciples.
God loves all of us, and God wants our love to Him too. That was why, in the Book of the prophet Sirach, we were told that the best offerings are the offering of our hearts, and our full dedication of ourselves to God, in love. This offering of pure love from our hearts is what the Lord truly wants from all of us. Not the animal burnt offerings and fragrant offerings of fats and meat that had been offered by the people of Israel in the past.
God asked the people of Israel to offer animals and their fats to Him, with all the various regulations and types of sacrifice, because He wanted to teach them the need to offer thanksgiving and praise to Him who created all things and who made all life possible. But His true intention is not the offering itself, because an offering given to God, out of ignorance and indifference will not be accepted by God. Rather, it is the love that accompanies the offerings, the true and pure love for God that God desires from all His children.
Remember the earliest record of sacrifice ever made by mankind, in the sacrifice of Cain and Abel to God. Cain and Abel offered their products of the world to God, the fruits of their labour. Cain, a farmer, offered the first fruits of his harvest from his farm, and Abel, who was a shepherd, offered the offering of his best lamb. The offering of Abel was accepted while the offering of Cain was rejected by God. Why? It is because Abel simply offered the very best to the Lord, and was sincere in his offering to God, while Cain did not offer his very best, and kept the best to himself, showing that he is insincere in his love for God.
That shows that God desires exactly not what is being offered by man, but the hearts of the people who offer those gifts themselves, their love for Him, is what He truly desires. That we love Him just as He has loved us, ever since He created us, and saw the perfection that was in us, but was lost because of our rebellion.
But He did not give us up to damnation with Satan in hell. He gave us His salvation, through Christ His own Son, whom He sent into the world to be our Saviour. Through His death on the cross, He redeemed all mankind and brought us into a new hope for salvation, if we accept the ultimate love He had offered us from that cross in Calvary.
Just as Christ had offered Himself in love, and out of His pure and perfect love for all of us, even the greatest of sinners among us, so then we too should love Him who loves us, and who gave up even His life for us that all of us may be saved, and be reunited with Him in the bliss of eternal life with Him. Offer our hearts and our pure, unadulterated love for Him, and show our love for God who has given so much for us, our lives, and our hope.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, do not hesitate, and do not be afraid! Bare ourselves and our heart and let God see within us, the love that we have for Him. Even if we have nothing of value to give to Him, our love for Him is good enough for Him, and in fact is priceless. Strive to always love God with all our hearts, and our whole beings. Do not forget to also love our brothers and sisters, those who are least among us, because by doing that, we also show our love for God. God bless us all. Amen.