“Everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God”. -1 John 4:7
I am fond of the first reading because it seems to sum up all of Christianity in just a paragraph: Love. We are called to love. It is easy to become overwhelmed with what seems to be rules of the Church, and to strain our eyes trying to find the line between “right” and “wrong” in a sea of gray. But ultimately, it all comes down to one simple question: Is the action out of love?
God is love, so if we are acting out of love we must be acting in accordance with God’s will. Conversely, without knowing God at all, can we truly love?
Despite the simplicity of the concept, putting it into action and being constantly cognizant of love is something I struggle with. I’m a doer- I like to be efficient, effective, and accomplish as much as possible. For me, sometimes love falls by the wayside; I don’t intentionally put it there, it simply lands there due to my own neglect.
When this happens, it doesn’t take long before my whole life seems to be out of balance; the peace, the joy, the awe of the Lord are all gone. Yet God never stops us, and simply gives another chance to start again. If we accept his invitation much can quickly be restored, as we choose, once again, to live in God’s love.