Grace to you!
Believers who are constantly attuned to the love of God, many times, seem to appear weak. When poked and maligned, they hardly pay back with the same coin. They tend to love in such a way that sometimes people wonder, “Are they okay?” In the words of Saint Paul, they are considered “fools for Christ” (I Cor 4:10).
Loving God with one’s entire being and living in the love of God entails following God’s ways. It entails copying God’s ways of love and mercy. Saint Catherine of Sienna and Saint Faustina beautifully described the love of God as the ocean of mercy and love.
You may have seen the ocean. You look at that vast water and observe how it pulls things in, the best of stones and the worst of dirt. If there is a synonym for generosity and, if rationality were to be applied to the ocean, I would say the ocean is the best metaphor for unreserved generosity.
The Ocean doesn’t selectively flow to the white or the black, the dirty or the clean, the young or the old. The ocean flows to all and is swum by all.
God’s love is like the ocean. In a metaphorical language, it’s the ocean of love. Scripture says, “God is love” (I John 4:8).
How would one, therefore, know he or she is in the game of love, God’s love? How shall we show we are truly begotten of God? Saint John tells us, in addition to living a life consistent with God’s Law (we described this yesterday), it also entails loving as God loves. This last trumps.
“For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another…” (1 John 3:11)
A Child of God, one who is passionately in love with God, ought to passionately love the way God loves, to the degree possible for humans. If God’s love flows like the ocean, without favoritism or distinction, shouldn’t the love of God’s children flow in a similar way?
Now I know why a true believer shouldn’t hate. To hate is to advance lack of love to the extent it becomes no love. If God is love and we are God’s children, hate has no place in our hearts because the seed of God, Christ, is infused in our hearts. Hate doesn’t coexist with love.
When the right person (love) is inside, the wrong (hate) is outside and vice versa.
In this sense, the best freedom is to love. To love is to be free from bitterness and hate, all of which make it difficult to let go and let love. To love is to be courageous for the risk of vulnerability, without which our true identity as believers wouldn’t flow or flourish like the ocean.
I accept that to love is to make us vulnerable. It entails a lot of risks and many times pains of rejection. Yet it is a better risk than to hate. Better to be a victim of love than a celebrated guest of hate.
To love is to be able to set no boundaries and to be able to approach all persons with tenderness as our heavenly Father. I mean all, including those who simply hate us, those who appear unlovable and those who seem not to merit our love.
I pray God to give us the grace to love as Christ loves. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Christmas Day 12, January 5: 1 Jn 3:11-21; Jn 1:43-51]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.