“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God. Those who love are born of God and know God; those who do not love, know not God, for God is love.”
A Word of Hope
This is a key verse in Christian spirituality for it designates a characteristic of anyone who genuinely seeks to please God. As Christians, we should be patterned after the nature of Jesus Christ who demonstrated divine love. We are supposed to mirror that holy love in all life activities. We cannot only live acts of love on Sunday morning while acting like an unloving devil the rest of the week. That’s obvious.
However, it is a difficult act to be loving in all situations. Love is an expression of goodness which is expressed in relationship with someone or something. It’s difficult to have or maintain a relationship with someone who is unloving towards you or those whom you love. We must realize that a lack of love is their choice, but it doesn’t change the fact that they, like you, are human. They are living within their own human strength or weakness, and as a human, they too are loved by God who always seeks their good. If it’s difficult for you to share a bond of love with them, God still continues to love each of you. And you, who have been “born of God and know God”, must honor God’s love in your life by reflecting that divine love to all that God loves, even the humanity in those who are unloving. This is a current life lesson for all of us.
“If God is for us, who is against us? Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship or distress… No, for in all such things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.” (Romans 8:31-37) As Paul wrote these words to the young church at Rome, he was offering encouragement and instruction to them. In our present time, many people are suffering loss. Sometimes, it is manifested in the death of a loved one, loss of a job or opportunity for advancement. Paul encouraged those Jews and Gentiles in the Roman church when he reminded them that hardships happen to all, but hope must not be lost. Our greatest treasure, which is our loving relationship with Christ Jesus, cannot be taken away from us. “For nothing can separate us from Christ, for I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor rulers, nor things present or in the future, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Grant us Lord God, not to be overly anxious about the physical things of this earthly life, but to hold dear and love those spiritual gifts which are part of your loving providence for us. Even while we are
placed here among those earthly things which are passing away, help us to hold fast to your loving spiritual gifts which shall endure. We pray through Jesus’s name. Amen.
Donald (Luke) Day
Order of St Francis and St. Clar