Love is first. God is
-Homily October 13, 2013
the ten men, but only one loved him back. What is love? Is it not something we
give? But how can we give what we didn’t receive? Christian love is called
charity, and today we will follow the explanations of the Catechism about this
the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake,
and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.” (1822) “Jesus makes charity
the new commandment.” (1823) First, let us see what
the origin of this love is. Then, its characteristics.
1. Jesus makes manifest the Father's love which he receives:
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love."
By loving one another, the disciples imitate the love of Jesus that they
themselves receive: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as
I have loved you." (Cf. 1823) Love is something that we first receive and
then we can give. That is why Jesus said: “I give you a new commandment”,
because he gave us the love, he poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy
Spirit (Cf. Rom 5:5). “In this is
love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the
expiation for our sins… We love, because he loved us first.” (1John 4:10.19)
Christian love, the love that has changed our culture and can change it again,
comes not from a simple human feeling, or from the love I may or may not have
received from others in my life. Christian love comes from the fact that God
loved me and died on a cross for me (Cf. Gal
2:20). That is why even people who have had a tough life, when they are touched
by the love of God, become so eager in promoting the good of others; they
become lovers. Because they have
received the love of God, they can give love. And because the love of God is
great, they become great and transform the world.
The secret of
Christian love comes from the contemplation of the Cross. The Cross is the
sign, the manifestation, the greatest expression of
the love of God. We need to contemplate the Cross, allow the love of God to
enter our hearts; we need to let him in and love him back.
2. There is no opposition between love and commandments: “Fruit
of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of God and
his Christ: "Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide
in my love." (John 15:9-10)”
out of love for us, while we were still "enemies." The Lord asks
us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of
those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself.”
(1825) We love our enemies with the love we ourselves
have received as sinners and forgiven by God.
Paul has given an incomparable depiction of charity: "charity is patient
and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.
Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it
does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things,
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all
things." (1 Cor 13)” Do you want
to see your progress in Christian life? try to replace
the word charity with your name, and see if it makes sense: “John is patient
and kind, John is not jealous or boastful…” etc.
“"If I .
. . have not charity," says the Apostle, "I am nothing."
Whatever my privilege, service, or even virtue, "if I . . . have not
charity, I gain nothing." Charity is superior to all the virtues.”
(1826) The first place in the Church is not a position
of leadership, but love. The first in the kingdom of Heaven will be the one who
loved more God: “I was hungry, and you gave me food” (Cf. Matt 25).
and orders the virtues among themselves; it is the source and the goal of their
Christian practice.” (1827) Charity is the queen of all virtues. Every virtue
must obey charity, and where charity is lacking there is no virtue.
gives Christians the spiritual freedom of the children of God. A Christian no
longer stands before God as a slave, in servile fear, or as a mercenary looking
for wages, but as a son responding to the love of him who "first loved
us".” (1828) We don’t serve God because we are
afraid of losing something if we don’t, or because we expect to get something from
him. We love him. That is why we should do his will. It does not mean that
there is no reward or punishment, but for the one who loves God, reward is God
himself and the only punishment is to lose him.
How do we
recognize charity? “The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity
demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters
reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and
communion: "Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the
goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we
shall find rest" (St. Augustine).” (1829)
May God pour
out his love into our hearts. May we always look at
the Cross of Jesus and recognize our name in his wounds. May we love our neighbours as we have been loved by God.
May the Holy Virgin Mary teach us how to love Jesus. –Fr.
Women’s League Upcoming Events
•Sunday, October 20, 2013 following the
9:00 am Mass, a breakfast meeting at the
Centre with long service pin presentations
•Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 7:00
p.m. General meeting at the Parish Centre
with guest speaker Jo Upton, President, Royal Canadian
•December 1st draw for Cash for
•November 30/December 1st “pre
Christmas Shopping” event. Anyone doing fall
cleaning and wishing to donate special items, can contact
Carol Lawless 905-372-2742
•December 4th Christmas party at the
Cobourg Memorial Temple, University Avenue
West – cost
•Reminder that “Food For All”
are in need of donations. A container is located in the
Narthex of our