Genesis, Romans, Matthew -- God's love for us


#1

I am currently taking Jeff Cavin’s “The Great Bible Adventure” in my church, and we had to read the following, and I need help interpreting the ultimate meaning:

Genesis 25-36
Romans 9:10-13
John 6

In Genesis, it speaks specifically about how God chose Jacob (Israel) before he (Jacob) had a chance to do anything good or bad. He was not chosen because he was better, but chosen because of God’s love. In fact, Jacob performed many acts of deceit, as his name implies.

In Romans, it reiterates that God chose Jacob for a greater plan. Specifically in Romans 9:13, it says, “I loved Jacob but hated Esau.” * “hated” means love less.

In John 6, 65, it says, “And he said, ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father’”.

So… it seems to me from these passages that there is nothing we can do to earn God’s love, which I already know, but I also read into these passages that God loves some more and some less and chooses who will be able to come to the Father.

The first part (loving more and loving less) seems to be not in alignment with my understanding of God’s love, that he loves us equally. Could it simply mean that he blesses some more than others, or is literal to mean he just doesn’t love some as much as others?

The second part (who he chooses to come to the Father) seems reminiscent of Calvinism, which promotes predestination. I know that is not a tenet of the Catholic faith.

So how do I reconcile or correctly interpret these passages?


#2

If we are created in the image and likeness of God. Then like Jesus, He had a disciple that He loved.

(Joh 19:26 DRB) When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son.

Do you think that Jesus love His mother more of less than someone else’s mother?

Do you think that God loved His son more or less than another son? and did Jesus love His Father more or less than your father?

If you were married, would you love your neighbors wife more of less than yours?

There are grades of intensity within the act of loving, which in my opinion is that God does love people differently and not with the same intensity. As it is written;

(Rom 9:14 DRB) What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? God forbid!

(Rom 9:15 DRB) For he saith to Moses: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. And I will shew mercy to whom I will shew mercy.

(Rom 9:16 DRB) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.


#3

So, then I was correct then in my interpretation that God, who loves us all, does love each of us with a different amount. So, my follow up to that is, would God love someone so little that He really cared less? I guess that kind of dampers my spirits a bit to know that I might be loved less by God. I mean, it makes sense that human traits such as selection of how much love we give another person are applicable, that I love my wife more than my neighbor’s wife, as we have different types of love, but I also thought God was equally loving of all of us.

Secondly, is anyone able to answer the question about the second part (who he chooses to come to the Father) seems reminiscent of Calvinism, which promotes predestination. I know that is not a tenet of the Catholic faith. (In John 6, 65, it says, “And he said, ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father’”.)


#4

Two things get mixed together all the time - God’s predestination and God’s Grace.

God actively predestined certain ones in the world so that his presence with us (Jesus) would be a work of God and not an accident of human “growth” or “human development”. Jacob was chosen so that Mary would be born, so that Jesus would be born, etc…

Others (like us) relate to those predestined by God via the workings of God’s Grace, which is absolutely certain in the world and available to us because he chose those others. They were all predestined to their callings, “so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations” to us who Jesus baptizes and teaches (“though Jesus did not baptize anyone, but his disciples did it for him”). God does love all and provides a sure, predestined, place where his love, his Grace, can be had and acquired by all. You might say that God did violence to Jacob in order to not do violence to us, wrestling with him and putting his thigh out of joint, to make sure Jacob was now Israel, and that Jesus would be born. God loved us, so he chose Jacob; God loved us, so he anointed David; God loved us so he made Mary without sin; God loved us, so he sent Jesus, his Son, to suffer violence; etc.

You have a vocation with your wife, which you do not have with your neighbor’s wife, yet she has a similar vocation with her husband, your neighbor. You and your wife are a microcosm of God and his Creation (and your neighbor and his wife are their own microcosm of God and his Creation, for themselves, not for you - you do not play a role in each other’s microcosm). In your marriage you can see the intimacy of God’s love by looking at your own, and you can see the determination of God for success with his purpose by seeing your own, and many other similarities to God Choosing and God granting Grace.


#5

It is the work of God that you are a member of His Church that He started building on Peter.

He is why you are a member of His Church, not because of anything you did, but because of His love for you, as you could have refused His grace and not be a Catholic.

(Joh 6:29 KJV) Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Christ loves His church more, He died for His Church, which you are in, only by the grace and love of God.

(Eph 5:25 DRB) Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and delivered himself up for it:

Everyday I give thanks to God that I am in His Church, Catholic and Apostolic, and pray that He keeps me here, with His gift of perseverance.


#6

JoeFreedom, you said,

…but I also read into these passages that God loves some more and some less…

God is fair to everyone for he has described Himself as our Good Shepherd and cares very much about every lost lamb. It is the Devil’s ploy to make us doubt that. Jesus gave his life up on the tree of suffering, and knew each one of us as he was suffering. “No greater love does a man have than to give up his life for his friends.” “I no longer call you servants but friends.”

He may very well give more grace to some than to others because some use his graces and then he gives them more. Some do not use the graces he offers, so he does not offer them more since they are not using those he already offered to them. And therefore it seems that he distinguishes between people, but in reality, those that respond to his love, he in return responds to their love.

And he responds to prayer as well, for there are some extrodinary graces only given because we ask for them and strongly desire them. Others are satisfied with less.

…and chooses who will be able to come to the Father

It is true that we cannot raise ourselves by our own bootstraps, but need the gift of faith only given by our Father. But again, this may be conditional as far as we dispose ourselves for this gift. For if our loving Father sees we are trying to do what God wants as far as they can tell, the goodwill which the Father sees may prompt the Father to respond in like kind and give the gift of faith. A person can set themselves up for God’s blessings or dispose themselves by an un-Godly life to the disfavor of God.

And again prayer is also an important factor to build a relationship with God based on beauty, glory, and acknowlegement of his power and goodness in creation.

Goodness shown to the disadvantaged, and consideration for others seems to be what pleases him and may well bring down his blessings.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.


#7

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