Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts10,25-26,34-35,44-48; Resp. Psalm: Ps98,1-4; 2nd Reading: 1Jn4,7-10; Gosp. Accl.: Jn14,23; Gospel: Jn15,9-17
The love of God is everlasting. The love of God is inclusive of all. The love of God is not discriminatory. The love of God transcends language, race, colour, tongue, status, position. The love of God fills the entire earth for those who believe and trust in Him.
The love of God came to its highest manifestation in Christ Jesus. Before His coming, God's love was seen in a hazy manner. With His coming, our Lord revealed to us the depth of the love God has for each and everyone of us.
In today's gospel passage, part of His long Last Supper discourse with His disciples, our Lord told His disciples to abide in His love. What does abiding in the love of the Lord consist in? What does it mean to love the Lord?
To love the Lord, the disciple must keep the commandments the Lord has given. To love the Lord is to extend that same love to other people. To love the Lord is therefore to love others as the Lord loves them.
To love the Lord is to act and express love as the Lord did. He expressed His love by laying down His life for His friends. True love is therefore sacrificial. True love is self-emptying. True love gives until it hurts. That is the kind of love with which the Lord loved His friends.
To love the Lord is to do what He commands us. True love therefore consists in unquestioning obedience to the Lord, following His dictates, doing His will in all things. The true love the Lord has shown us is seen in the fact that He accepts us as friends, not as servants.
Our Lord cancelled the master-slave relationship and replaced it with that of friends. He made known to us all that He heard from His Father. He loves us, not because of who we are or what we can do, but because of who He is. He chose us as a practical demonstration of this love. He appointed us that we should go out and bear fruit and that our fruit should abide.
This love of God for all and the love of our Lord for whoever comes to faith in Him was a lesson St. Peter learnt again from the Lord after His resurrection. Peter and other Jewish Christians had falsely thought that the gospel was meant for those who would become observers of the tradition and customs of the Jews.
Peter and his companions forgot that the love of God is inclusive. They did not realize that God's love is never partial. The Holy Spirit came upon Cornelius and members of his family, even though they were yet to be baptized. That singular action of the Spirit was the game changer. Peter ordered that Cornelius and his household be baptized.
The word of God teaches us today to reflect on the love with which God has loved us. It challenges us to think of this God who sent us His only begotten Son. It teaches us that whoever does not love does not know God. It teaches us that our love must be expiatory and sacrificial, it must always consider the good of the other. Let us love as He loved us. May His love fill our hearts. May we become revealers of His true love in the world.
Let us pray: "Grant, almighty God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion these days of joy, which we keep in honour of the risen Lord, and that what we relive in remembrance we may always hold to in what we do." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.