Summary: We are to love others as God has loved us, because God loved us first and God is love.
Today, the readings are clear: God is Love and we are to love as God loves.
Many moons ago, before there was even a moon, God is…Before there was anything else: God is…The Father has been loving the Son for all eternity. The Son has been loving the Father for all eternity…This love…Father – Son…Son – Father …is the Holy Spirit. Before there were angels…before the stars and the sun and moon and the earth…it was only God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit..The Father is the thought, the Son is the Word, the Spirit is the breath that speaks the Word. This Love: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, This God…is the source of all power. Love made everything we can see and everything we cannot see. The blue sky is made of love. The ocean is full of the love of God. The little doodle bug is made by love. The soaring eagle, the great blue whale, human beings, male and female: everything was made by love for love, made by God for God, for God IS LOVE!
Jesus said to his disciples: "As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love". (Jn 15.9-10) With love comes obedience. The Son of God, God from God and light from light: Jesus Christ obeys the Father. Even when the Father asked him to come to earth as a human being and die, Jesus obeyed him. Jesus said:" No one has greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you." ( Jn 15.13-14)
"In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world
so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as payment for our sins. Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love." (1 Jn 4.7-10)
Jesus says: "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, This I command you: love one another" (Jn 15.9-17)
So, the Father loves Jesus and Jesus loves us with this same love. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive the Love of God. Can God give us any more than himself? Can the Father give any more than his Son Jesus? Can Jesus give us any more than his body, blood, soul and divinity in holy communion? If God gives us God, what more can God give? Can God love us any more than he loves us? God became a human being, he suffered, he agonized and died for us. Jesus emptied himself of his divinity, then he emptied himself of his humanity. God tasted death for us. Then Jesus rose from the dead and promises us life in heaven with him.
Jesus wants us to love as he loves, I can’t do it. I can’t love like that. I want to love like that, but I am a sinner with a heart of stone. I know one thing that I CAN do, I can care for people. I can want the same things for you that I want for myself. I can live the golden rule: I can treat others the way I want to be treated. Can you treat others the way you want to be treated? If you want people to respect you, you be the first to show respect to others. You want people to be kind to you, you be the first to be kind to others. You want people to like you, you be the first to like them. You don’t want other people judging you, then you don’t judge other people. You need food, shelter and clothing, then you should want others to have food, shelter and clothing. This is simple, I can care about others as much as I care about myself. Then, perhaps, God’s love, God’s Holy Spirit can flow through me. I can be like a pipeline that carries God’s grace, God’s life, God’s love to others. Perhaps when people ask “Where is God?” I can answer: “He’s right in front of you, he’s in my heart loving you right now.”