Why do we follow Christ? Why do we belong to His Church? Why do we receive the sacraments, and build Catholic schools, and hospitals? Why are we encouraged to pray daily and honour God with our actions? What is the point of it all? The answer is the theme of our readings: LOVE. Everything we do and everything we are called to has at its core the call to love.
Jesus invites us to look at the call of love by showing us that this call originates from God the Father, and is passed on through the Son, and will continue to act in our lives through the Holy Spirit. Jesus says: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love”. This call to a vocation of love is not just a slogan, a nice way of not talking about important issues. It is at the core of who God is. Everything we know about God, everything that God has done for us, everything God calls us to be, it all points to LOVE. Jesus reminds us that we are to be inspired by God’s love for us, and to “abide in His love”. How do we abide in God’s love? Jesus tells us: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love”.
We can be tempted to say that all we need is love, and that all the rules and regulations that the Church asks us to keep has nothing to do with Jesus. Here we see that the commandments of God have everything to do with love, because our faithfulness to them is an expression of our love for God. Without the ability to show our love for God through obedience, we would have no way of really knowing that we love God.
As Christians we are called to a vocation of love. This is not a new theme for us; we heard it when Jesus spoke about the commandment of love. This call to love is an incredible opportunity for us to grow in closeness with God. How? By practicing love. If God is love, then every time we love we are entering into the presence of God. And love is at the heart of all the virtues: forgiveness, kindness, patience, reverence, humility, etc. If we actively practice love in our lives, we bring the presence of God into different situations with us, and we become ambassadors for God. By what we do, how we act, the way we engage with others, we either preach that God is love, or that He is not. God's love is made manifest in the lives of others by the love which we bring into their lives.
Fr. Wojtek Kuzma