A little boy came into the parish office one day. His mother was talking to the pastor and he was in the waiting room, looking a bit uncomfortable and nervous.
So first I did what any self-respecting parish secretary would do. I offered chocolate. That certainly worked well.
And then I asked him what he liked to do. And he told me about his favorite toys and games, etc.
Then suddenly he looked up and saw the crucifix on the wall. And he asked, very seriously, "Why did Jesus have to die like that?"
"To show us how much he loves us," I told him.
"It hurt him a lot, didn't it?"
"Yes, it hurt very much.
"He didn’t have to die like that, did he?"
"No, he could have walked away."
"But he loves us, right?"
"Yes. Very much. All the time. No matter what."
He was pretty satisfied with that, and feeling better, we went on to talk about other things that little boys like to talk about. Games and tv shows and favorite toys, etc.
But for those few minutes, we were not little boy and old parish secretary lady. We were just two people, wondering why Jesus loves us that much, and very grateful that he does.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. - John 3:16