CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 April 2019

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We are loved—
that is why we love

Who is God? The disciple who, during dinner, rested his head on the breast of the Lord revealed to us that God is love, only love and everyone who loves is begotten of him. The disciple explains how he manifests himself: not as a legislator and judge, as the rabbis believed, but as love. “Let us love one another—he says—for love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Those who do not love have not known God, for God is love.”

 God’s love is manifested by giving us what was most precious to him, his Only Begotten as the “propitiation for our sins.” He loved us, not because we were good, but has made us good by loving us gratuitously: “When we were still helpless and unable to do anything, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6).

 This is generous and unselfish love, which also manifests itself in the children of God.

 One does not receive the divine sonship or daughtership as a reward because one loves. It is the presence of this love that reveals who has become a child of God.

The disciples are invited to remain in the love of the master. Jesus remains in the Father’s love because he is always united to him. He is faithful to the Father and “always does what pleases him.” The disciples can become in the world a reflection of this union only if they remain in his love and keep his commandments. After speaking of his commandments, as if they were many, Jesus declares, “This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you” as if it were only one (v. 12).

It is true, the commandments are many, but they are only clarifications of a single commandment, that which Jesus perfectly practiced: love of people. 

All moral choices, provisions and laws must refer to the good of man because it is the only way we have to show God, our love: “How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your brother whom you see?” (1 John 4:20)

 His commandment is not intended as a demanding, precise and well-defined law in all the details. It is a life orientation that, in its practical implications, should be determined from moment to moment. It requires constant attention to the needs of the brother/sister, imagination, discernment and courage to make decisions even at the risk of making mistakes.

 

Father Fernando Armellini