Love is Central to Our Faith

Dear Parishioners & Visitors,

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.

The theme of love is at the heart of all this Sunday's readings. The idea of love is central to our faith. To believe is to love, to love God and one another. There is no other possible way to understand the message of Jesus. We cannot skip love and still pretend to call ourselves Christians.

Throughout history people have tried to offer different understandings of the Christian faith, making out of it an ideology, an ethical approach to life, or a syrupy interpretation of God and His relationship with us. In today's second reading, Saint John sets the groundwork for the correct understanding of love. He tells us: In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

Love, according to Saint John, is not a feeling; it is an action. Love is God himself acting on our behalf. God loves us unconditionally. It does not matter if we are not worthy of God's love, God loved us first. And God's love is neither an idea nor a feeling; God's love is an action manifested in the gift of His only begotten Son. Jesus comes into our world and becomes part of it by becoming fully human. Because of love, the eternal Word becomes human, suffers, and dies in expiation for our sins.

The greatest mysteries of our faith: Incarnation, Birth, Public Ministry, Passion, Death, and Resurrection, can only be explained because of love. Even more, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Church, and the Sacraments are all grounded in the fact that God has loved us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.

As we listen to the Word of God this Sunday, let us be reminded of the fundamental fact that God loves us and we are challenged to imitate that love. By loving one another we will proclaim to the world that we are Christian not only by name but primarily by action; by loving one another as God has loved us. 

-fr. Alberto Rodriguez, 0.P.