God is Love…
(But what do we mean?) -Homily
July 20/27, 2014
Jesus is the
sower of the good seed. Jesus is the one who sows with tears: he performed the
work of salvation with the Cross as an instrument. Jesus is the one who sows
because he wants fruit, fruits of eternal life in the Garden of Heaven. Jesus
sowed the seed of his word in the soil of our faith, and he wants to taste the
fruit of our love for him.
and we are the fruit of his work. The work is hard, but the fruit is sweet.
Jesus died the bitter death of the Cross, so that we may taste and see how good
the Lord is, so that we may taste the sweetness of Heaven. In all this, we can see
how great the love of God is for us
religions speak of the love of God, and it may seem that all of them are the
same. It is not so. For us Christians, God is not any love, but the love of God
manifested in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:39;
5:8). The love of God has a name: it is Mercy. It is the love through which our
sins are forgiven. The love through which is offered to us the possibility of
the perfect communion with God in Heaven.
1. Other people do not mean this when they speak about the
love of God. Our God loves us, not just in any way, but through his own
self-giving, through the donation of himself. Our God, in his tender love, does
not give us just any gift. He doesn’t offer us success, health, food and
comfort while we are on earth. He offers us eternal joy and eternal life, a joy
that begins on earth and lasts forever, a joy that cannot be compared to
anything else. He offers himself as the object of our enjoyment, he offers us
all he is and he has, to be our possession forever. This is what we mean when
we Christians say: “God is love.” The love of other gods is measured by the
worldly gifts they give. The love of our God has no measure.
That is why
we can ask in prayer whatever we want to our God. Because if God wants to give
us Heaven, what wonder is it that he can give us something lesser for now? If
he can give what is more, he can give what is less. But with other gifts we ask
always: “if this is your will.” Because he is our Father and knows what is best
for us. His principal gift, then, is the donation of himself in Heaven, it is
his eternal love. That is the first thing we mean when we say: God is love.
2. Second and last point: the love of God has been
manifested on the Cross of Jesus. God wanted us to enter in communion with him,
but that was impossible for us. So he entered first into communion with our
human nature, so that through him we could enter into communion with God. The
Son of God became man so that man may become a son of God. But still, our sins made
communion with God impossible for us. What is holy and what is sinful cannot be
together. So Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, so that whoever believes in
him and is bathed in his blood may be forgiven. Through faith and sacraments,
we now have access to God, we can be saved, as Jesus said: “Whoever will
believe and be baptized, will be saved” (Mark
Why this last
point is important? Because the love of God for us Christians is concrete. It
is not only that God wants us to enter in communion with him, who knows how. He
also offers us the concrete means to attain this communion. We could not attain
God by our own means, because God is infinite and we are not. So God himself
provided us with the means to arrive to him. These means are faith and
sacraments. That is why the Christian God really loves us. He does not promise
a happiness that is impossible for us, he makes it possible. He invites us to a
beautiful Heaven, but he also shows the way to us. “I am the way,” says Jesus.
He invites us to believe in him, to be baptized and to eat his flesh. “He who
eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life,
and I will raise him up on the last day” (John
God is love.
You don’t say that someone loves you if he invites you to his home and does not
indicate you how to get there. Or if someone tells you to go on holiday but
does not pay the travel expenses for you. Our God loves us because he invites
us to Heaven, and because he indicates the way to us. Our God loves us because
he promises the greatest gift, an eternal gift, an infinite gift, the gift of
himself; and because he also gives us the concrete means to obtain and enjoy
his gift. He promises the impossible, but he makes it possible, because “nothing
is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
May we never follow
other gods. May we be faithful to our God. May we share with others our happiness, that there
really is a God who truly loves! May we walk the way indicated by Jesus, the
way of faith in his word, the way of the sacraments of the Church.
Every time we come to Mass, we are a little closer to Heaven, we are a little
closer to Jesus, and we go out to be a little closer to our neighbour. –Fr.