«This is my Commandment, that you love each other … as I have loved you»

We contemplate, first of all, God’s love for man, which has been fully revealed in Christ, his Son. «God is love», the apostle John recalled. It is love because it is «communion» that unites the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the Trinitarian life. It is love because it is a «gift.» Indeed, God’s love does not remain closed in on itself, but rather spreads and reaches the hearts of all those he has created, calling them to be his children.

The love of God is a gratuitous love, which precedes the waiting and the need of man. «We did not go to love God, but he loved us.» He loved us first, He took the initiative. This is the great truth that illuminates and explains all that God has done and achieved in the history of salvation.

God’s love, on the other hand, is not reserved for a few, a few, but wants to embrace everyone, inviting them to be one family. The apostle Peter says the same in his evangelization speech that took place in the house of the centurion Cornelius, where many people were: God – he says – “is no respecter of persons, but he who fears him and practices justice, belonging to the people he belongs to is acceptable to him. ‘

God’s love for humanity knows no borders, it does not stop in front of any barrier of race or culture: it is universal, it is for everyone. Ask only for availability and reception; it only requires a human ground to fertilize, made of honest conscience and good will.

From the contemplation of God’s love comes the need for a response, for a commitment. Which? It is a must ask. And the word of God, barely heard, fulfills our expectations. It is required first of all that man let himself be loved by God. This happens when you believe in his love and take it seriously, accepting the gift in your own life to allow yourself to be transformed and molded by it, especially in the relationships of solidarity and fraternity that unite men with one another.

Jesus Christ, in effect, asks those who have been reached by the love of the Father to love one another and to love everyone as He loved them. The originality and novelty of his command reside precisely in that «how», which says gratuitousness, universal openness, concreteness in true words and gestures, the capacity to donate even to the supreme sacrifice of oneself. In this way, his life can spread, transform the human heart and make all the men of a community united in his love.

Jesus asks his followers to remain in his love, that is, to live permanently in communion with him, in a constant relationship of friendship and dialogue. And this to enjoy full joy, to find the strength to observe his commandments and, finally, to produce fruits of justice and peace, of holiness and of service.

Accept with renewed awareness the Gospel of love that Jesus Christ reveals with his word and with his life. He has chosen them and, with the gift of the Holy Spirit, has «constituted» and established them in Him, making them friends and participants in him, with baptism, in his own life. Remain in his love, persevere in him, cultivate the dialogue of prayer with him, grow in communion through participation in the sacraments and in the liturgy, faithfully guard his word in your heart, observe the commandments of the.

And then love one another, because «everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.» Brotherly love, in fact, witnessed and experienced, makes the Gospel of the love of God of «those outside» credible and thus becomes the first form of evangelization for the men of our time. This mutual love, in the reality of his parish community, is destined to be expressed in multiple forms of commitment and service.

Fr. Antony Majeesh George Kallely, OFM.

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