God's Love – Br. David Allen
The first reading for today’s Eucharist tells us about God’s love. It also tells us what we need to know about God and our love.
At the beginning of today’s first reading you heard these words: “We love because God first loved us.” (1 Jn 4:19). This tells us that all godly love comes from God, not only this, but all love that is true comes from God. Our love for God is not an automatic response. It is the free gift of God to us and to everyone who believes and accepts God’s love.
In this reading we can find the seed of all that we need to know
about God’s love; our relationship with God in that love, and our
relationship with one another in that same love. This is an
over-simplification of course. Volumes have been written about the subject of God’s love, and our love of God. Tens of millions of
sermons have been preached about the subject of God’s love.
It is my task now to suggest how we can take that seed of the
knowledge of God’s love and nourish and cultivate it so that we can better respond to God’s love and love one another as the Bible tells us we should do.
Early in this reading the author of this letter tells us quite bluntly
that those who say they love God but hate their brothers or sisters are liars. Some of them may be. But in the light of what we know about modern psychology I think it better to say that for those people their understanding of love is incomplete. This 1st letter of John teaches us how we may come to have a more complete understanding of the love we should have for God and for one another. If we love God with all of our heart and soul and mind, then we should be able to love even those who are difficult to love.
The sign that we are capable of loving other people equally as
children of God is that we can naturally and willingly obey the
commandments of God, which are mostly about love. It is by our faith that we are able to do this.
Pray for this faith, that it may be strong and sustaining, and
pray for this love that it may be deep and wide!
Please support the Brothers work.
The brothers of SSJE rely on the inspired kindness of friends to sustain our life and our work. We are grateful for the prayers and support provided to us.
…Love is an Absolute, hence Infinite experiences of the same…the ‘tough love’ of Jesus on the cross is the ultimate however…it took care of all our screw ups, while we go through our formational experiences of Love…especially with the complimentary polar opposites we regularly encounter…only when we find an opposite and see the growth of Love or achieving balance between our polarites, do we have a hint of what the cross did for us…
…also, formationally finding an experience of being the Beloved vs always being the Lover is as or more difficult than formation w/a polar opposite…e.g. when both people deserve and want to be the Beloved it is formationally hard to have relationship…seeing it through is the best i can do so far…only when two are caught of guard Love sometimes slips through…
Thank you for not just quoting the words but interpreting them.
If/when we hate our brothers and sisters perhaps it’s because our understanding of Love is incomplete. This is a very interesting insight and I think it’s very often true. And understanding God’s Love is sometimes hard. So I will pray for this Love, that it may be deep and wide. Thank you for your wisdom, Br. David.