January 6th, 2004
Howard Kalb, S.J.
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If you stop to count the number of times the word “love” is used,
as either a noun or verb in these three versus of John’s letter, one would
get the idea that he was convinced it was the essence of the Christian life.
He also shares some insight on the theology of this virtue.
John proclaims: “God is Love!” As creator, if this is his very nature,
then God is the source and origin of all love. Anyone or any thing
that is lovable or that is capable of loving has that quality or activity
from God. “Everyone who loves is begotten of God and knows God.” If
God would cease to exist love would vanish from the face of the earth.
The next important fact tells us that God loved us first. Most of
us in our dealing with others are hesitant of giving our love to another lest
it be rejected. No problem with trusting God, since he takes the initiative.
“In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only-begotten
Son into the world so that we might have life through him.”
One essential way we express our love for God is by loving our neighbor.
“Let us love one another, because love is of God.” A person can deceive
himself thinking he is keeping the Ten Commandments perfectly. Yet
if he has neighbors he rejects or hates, it would follow that he has a false
god. Because “Whoever is without love does not know God.”
It would seem the best way to fulfill God’s commandments is by loving everyone.
We might not end up liking everyone, but we can always love each person
by treating them kindly and wanting them to know God and have life through
him. “He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”
So for these many reasons, it would be especially good to reach out in
love each day to some person we have never met before.
to the writer of this reflection.
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