We can only believe in Jesus if we love the Father and can only love the Father because He loved us first.


1john4-21

When Jesus was asked what the greatest of the commandments was, He replied with two commandments: love of God and love of neighbor.

In today’s reading from 1 John, this is stated: “Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” It is interesting that this is not really a command, but rather the fact that God loved us behooves us to love not only God but our neighbor also. Not only that, but the commandments we are called to follow are not to burden us, but to help us with all the problems of the world.

Jesus tells us in the Gospel reading today that: “Today this scripture reading is fulfilled in your hearing.” Jesus speaks to us in the Gospels and He wants us to truly believe in Him, and if we do, “we are begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves the one begotten by Him.”

We can only believe in Jesus if we love the Father and can only love the Father because He loved us first. We cannot give love unless we first have received it. The Lord has poured out love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Yet have our hearts been open? Have we received the incarnate, crucified, infinite, unconditional love of God for each of us personally? The purpose of life is to receive the perfect love of God already given. Then, when we open and receive the gift of God’s love, we can give it to others.

Most people like to think of themselves as loving others. But are we truly loving or just deceiving ourselves? We are loving if:

  1. We are “beloved”, that is, we have first received God’s love.
  2. We love God with all our hearts.
  3. We obey God’s commandments.
  4. We love ourselves.
  5. We love the brothers and sisters we see in our everyday life.
  6. We love our enemies.
  7. The Spirit has poured out love in our hearts.

When we see what it means to be loving, we realize that not so many people are loving. Loving is not something we can do by our own power. We can’t “make love.” Loving is a gift, freely given by God to those willing to receive it.

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