6th Sunday of Easter; Year B
1 John 4:7-10
My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love. God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him; this is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.
“Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love” is quite the statement. It recognises a fundemental part of God’s unchanging identity: That God is Love. He created the world out of Love; he led the Isrealites from Egypt out of Love; gave us His Son out of Love; He created the Church out of Love. Each of these actions show us a way we can love others, and “know God“.
He created the world our of Love. God had no reason to create – or maintain in creation – the Universe, or us, but yet out of love, he does. We follow God’s Love when we create and maintain other, most obviously families and children. But also, when we maintain our homes and our communities and work to bring them together, and on a bigger scale, by fulfilling the role God gave us – as stewards of creation, not as masters over it, to do with as we wish. We show love for others by co-operating in maintaining the planet, and working towards a sustainable future.
He led the Isrealites from Egypt out of Love. He didn’t need to get invovled, He could have forgotten his promises to Abraham given the number of times they had forgotten their promise to Him, but He chose not to. He knew what was right and did it – in the same way we are called to. When there is hatred or violence, as Christians, we are called not to just “not particpate” but to fight on the side of Justice. When and wherever we lead, in our families, our church, our workplaces, our governments, we are called to lead our of love and concern for others, not our own concerns or lust for power. We show love for others by following’s God’s example of leadership.
He gave us His Son out of Love. He gave us his very self in Jesus Christ. The Son took on a Human nature as we have, fought temptation as we do, suffered as we do, died as we will. He is the prime example of sacrificial-love. In the same way, we as Christian are called to will the good of the other for the sake of the other, to not pursue our own means for our own ends, but for the greater good of all. This is the basis of Catholic Social Teaching – that we are not individuals that happen to live near each other, but a society that is made up of individuals. We are called to go out our way to help others, even at our own inconvenience. We show love for others by following’s God’s example of self-sacrifice.
He created the Church out of Love, to remind us that He remains with us. He left us the oppurtunity to spend time with Him, to speak with Him and ask Him for help. In the same way, we are called to be avaliable to others when they seek us out, to give them our time, our thoughts and our charitable guidence in their difficulties. We show love by following God’s example of openess and assistance.
“God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world his only Son so that we could have life through him”, says St. John – and in doing so God revelaed to us the way we can come to know him m0re deeply and become more like Him – by offering to others what he offers us – to Love one another, as He loves us.