Some years ago when my husband and I visited Germany, we spent a couple of days in the charming medieval town of Dinkelsbühl. But although there are two large cathedrals there, one on the Protestant side of the street and one on the Catholic side of the same street, that’s not really what I remember about Dinkelsbühl.
What I have never forgotten is the tiny chapel which we came upon unexpectedly. It was so small that it might have been a private chapel at one time…or perhaps belonged to a small congregation of monks or nuns.
What struck me immediately upon entering was a fresco behind the altar. The painting was similar to the one posted above, an artist’s rendering of the moment of the Incarnation. But in this particular painting, the artist had imparted to the face of God the Father, a most tender, almost concerned expression. As He gazed down at the Holy Spirit descending to overshadow Mary, He appeared touchingly vulnerable. I could imagine Him whispering to this young girl, “Take care of Him….Cherish Him…He is My Only Begotten Son…and now, I have given Him to the world…..I entrust Him to you…Love Him…Oh Love Him, Mary!”
I was really moved to tears. What must that moment have been like for Our Heavenly Father….a moment when everything changed forever, as His Son became now also the Son of Man.
I am grateful for that graced encounter with a painting which caused me to think, perhaps for the very first time, about how Our Father in Heaven must long for us to thank Him for the Incomparable Gift of His Beloved Son. I would think that He would never tire of hearing us tell Him how much we love Jesus, and how grateful we are that the He deigned to send Him to us.
Similarly, I recall how much Jesus loves His Abba, and how while on earth, He seemed to wish to do nothing without referring all of the Glory to His Eternal Father. Surely His Sacred Heart is greatly consoled to see us remembering to thank the Father for the Gift of His Son.
Especially during this season of Lent, it seems most appropriate to express exceeding gratitude to Our Heavenly Father for loving us so much that He would sacrifice His Only Begotten Son for us. It is truly a Love the depths of which eternity will not be long enough to reveal.
Perhaps it was that very Sacrifice which was on the mind of the artist who painted such touching concern into the Face on his fresco…..I am only grateful to God that a chance encounter moved my own heart to try to remember to pray often:
Thank You, Father. I love You, and I love Jesus with all of my heart. Please help me to love Him more each day, and to pray that others may love Him, for although He gave His Life, You gave Your Son. May You be forever thanked and praised for such unfathomable Love!