7th May 2012

God is love

Instinctively we all know that the opposites of love are selfishness and indifference. When people act selfishly they irk us. When we do the same we annoy them. When someone we once cared for becomes indifferent to us it hurts.

On the other hand we all know people who give a lot of themselves. Many times parents have made great sacrifices for their children.  A loving person is someone who knows how to give and someone who is not indifferent to others.

If as we believe and have experienced ‘God is Love’ (1 Jn 4:6) than God is perfectly unselfish and never indifferent towards us. Rather He is the God who feels deeply for us and who gives us not only His ‘blessings upon blessings’ (John 1:16) but most of all His very Self.

God’s love and His truth are inseparable. He is not an indulgent grandparent who wants to spoil his children but a loving Father whose love can also be tough. In 1 Corinthians 13 St Paul gives us a picture of authentic rather than sentimental love. This love is first and foremost volitional and always acts in the best interests of others. This is the love of God in Jesus Christ who died for us and rose again to give us His very life.

We too are called to love in this way. How? As we prepare for Pentecost we need to keep in mind that God’s love is poured into our hearts by the gift of the Holy Spirit (Rom5:5). If you have never had this personal experience ask the Lord to lead you to it. It enriches our spiritual life so that we can love God back in prayer.

It is His love which enables us to grow into people who are selfless, who give without counting the cost, who speak in a way which builds others up and not tears them down (in their absence too). We are called to become people who forgive always and who overcome indifference to serve others in love and truth. This is the fruit of Pentecost!

At the end of our life we will be judged on love, St John of the Cross reminds us. After all it is the first and essential commandment (Matt 22:37).