First Reading: Acts 14:5-18; Psalm: 115. R. v. 1ab; Gospel: Jn 14:21-26
LOVE IS HIS WORD
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“I love you” is a very common statement in our world today. It is an endearment used often to announce one’s feeling of affection to another. It is easily heard but not often meant as easily said. What however would convince the other party that he/she is truly loved by an intending lover are the doings that would trail the just announced feelings of love. Lovers would necessarily prove their love to another by an action that truly reflects what they feel. These doings are necessary because love is not just a noun but also a verb which is a doing word. And genuine love is tested on how long this proof of love is sustained.
As Jesus departs from his disciples, love was his parting word to them. The new commandment that they should love one another as he loved them was not just enough. But the disciples will have to take steps further to prove that they love him also if only they keep this new commandment. So it is in loving that the disciples would prove that they love Jesus. “If a man loves me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (Jn 14:23). This passage explains 1John 4:16. “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
When we look at the cross of Jesus, we see love proven in action. In like manner, Jesus is saying to us today that whoever loves him will only prove it by keeping his commandment. And this commandment which Jesus spoke of, is nothing other than “love one another even as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34). So let us prove our love for Jesus by loving. The moment we stop loving one another, we do not love God. “If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1Jn 14:20). The message today is very clear. If we say we love God, we have to prove it. And the only way to prove it is to love one another. Not for some moments but always.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, make us conscious that our love for you is only proven in the love of neighbour. Amen.