Friends, today we read about the poor widow who gave her all to the Lord. Her simple generosity, her offering of her whole livelihood, was a response to God’s unconditional love. God’s love comes first. When we get this wrong, everything else in the spiritual life is thrown off-kilter. Listen to how St. John expresses this love of predilection: “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as the expiation for our sins.”
If we play the game of loving God in order to get God to love us, then we are lost. If we think that we can earn salvation or we can work our way into God’s heart, then we are lost. Here’s a way to think about it: we wouldn’t exist were it not for God’s love. God needs nothing; therefore, whatever exists outside of God exists because God desires some good for it. Love precedes, therefore, our intelligence, our courage, our wills, our designs and purposes, indeed, our very existence.