Sixth Sunday of Easter
Dear parishioners and friends of St. Julia Parish,
While I was in the seminary, we would be asked to complete theological reflections. Here is part of my reflection on love from 2013. How very appropriate this Mother's Day weekend.
According to 1 John 4:8, the very nature of God is Love, and love is present in Scripture as one of the central themes in describing the relationship between God and humanity. Indeed, love is the basis of creation. Because of his superabundant love, God willingly gave his own Son to bring salvation to the fallen world (John 3:16; Romans 5:5-9; 1 John 4:9). The task for all of us, then, is above all to love God with our entire heart (Deut 6:5; Matt 22:37). We are also called to love our neighbours (Lev 19:18, 1 John 4:11-21).
Jesus loved his friends so deeply that he was willing to lay down his life for them (John 13:1; 1 John 3:16) in order for them and us to be adopted daughters and sons of the Father. In return, the disciples were required to show their love by imitating the unifying love of the Son and the Father (John 17:21-23). Such a love had to be more than mere words; it had to manifested by deeds: “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18), including keeping the commandments of Jesus (John 14:15, 21, 23; 1 John 5:3). Christians should also love one another (John 13:34; 15:17) with the same love that Christ showed to them (John 15:12).
Jesus’ actions reveal that he truly loves us. Jesus took care of those around him. He fed them. He looked after their physical needs and issues. He attended to their spiritual needs. And he ultimately died on the cross for us. These were all deeds and actions. He showed his love by serving God and his people. We too are called to live our lives by serving others, all out of love.
As Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his encyclical God Is Love: “The consciousness that, in Christ, God has given himself for us, even unto death, must inspire us to live no longer for ourselves but for him, and, with him, for others. Whoever loves Christ loves the Church, and desires the Church to be increasingly the image and instrument of the love which flows from Christ.” As ministers in the church, and in fact as baptized Christians, we are called to be instruments of love here on earth, through our deeds and actions, which are often unspoken.
On this Mother's Day weekend, may we give thanks for all the ways we have been loved by our Mother's, for this love is a reflection of the love that Christ has for each of us.
May God continue to bless each of you and those that you love.
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