God is Love Sixth Sunday Easter Year B
Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48 Palm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4 1 John 4:7-10 John 15:9-17
In today’s Gospel passage Jesus commands us to “love one another as I love you.” Knowing how Jesus loves us can help us to pattern our way of loving on Jesus perfect expressions of love. One principle way that Jesus loved us was by being born as a little, seemingly helpless little baby, being cradles in the Blessed Mother’s loving arms and also in Saint Joseph’s protective arms and hands.
Jesus also powerfully demonstrated his love by his death on the cross. The last words that Jesus said were words of mercy not of condemnation. Unlike the blood of Abel that cried out for justice after Abel was murdered by his brother Cain (Genesis 4:10), Jesus blood, “speaks more graciously (Hebrews 12:24)” by crying out for forgiveness, for mercy, for our salvation.
As pointed out by St. Thomas Aquinas, God could have saved us in a much more direct way by omitting to send his Son Jesus to us. God could have simply declared that we are all forgiven and in an instance we all would be forgiven.
However, this is not the path that God chose to the end of salvation since this path was not the most fitting way for God who is love to save us. The most fitting, most suitable way for God who is love, everlasting relational love, to save us is precisely through the birth and death of Jesus since by these ways God shows how much he loved us. Quoting Augustine, Aquinas, adds “nothing was so necessary [as Jesus’ birth} for raising our hope as to show us how deeply God loved us.”
As Brant Pitre explains, if God chose to save us simply by declaring us all forgiven, God would only be revealing that he is a distant judge, who sits behind his desk in heaven, and, from a distance pronounces us forgiven while not relating to us, while not accompanying us, not walking with us, not sharing our sorrows and joys.
However, God is more than a judge. We do not pray “Our judge in heaven. Hallowed be thy name… Thy rule be done on earth as it is in heaven…” Instead, we say “Our father who art in heaven. Hallowed by thy name. They Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” And, this kingdom is a kingdom of love, a kingdom in which all considered themselves brothers and sisters because we have one ruler who is more than a judge more than simply a ruler, who is a loving, merciful father because of our fellowship with one another through Jesus Christ.
The second reading from John, also affirms God as love and because God is love, God chose to save us by sending his Son into our midst. By sending his son into the world, God wants a holy exchange to take place. God gives us his eternal life, through Jesus, and we give ourselves to God by, with grace, choosing to love relationally, and not selfishly, and choosing to love relationally necessarily entails keeping the commands of our Heavenly Father which ensures that we all live peacefully together under the one roof of creation.
Along with the gifts of bread and wine that will be offered in this Mass may we offer ourselves, our bodies so that along with the bread and wine we also may be transformed into the One Body of Christ.
God Bless – Father Peter
Music for Jesus: Alleluia – Hát Lên Người Ơi (Lm. Thành Tâm – Lm. Trần Sỹ Tín) Allemanda Part II (J.S. Bach)
 Brant Pitre, “The Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year B),” catholicproduction.com.