God Loves Through Us

05-09-2021Weekly Reflection© LPi

“Remain in my love,” and, “I call you friends,” are powerful words that are found in John’s Gospel. Most of us probably have them committed to memory or have at least heard them proclaimed dozens of times. They are words that can easily become trite and quickly glossed over without fully pondering and digesting their profound beauty. When we take the time to immerse ourselves in them, they can radically change our lives and our relationships. They can open up new doors of adventure and hold countless possibilities for meaning. The essence of love and friendship are things that can easily be taken for granted. They have always been there and are a significant part of our lives. Many would say that they could not live without love and friendship, and they put a great deal of care into preserving, deepening and sustaining them. Love and friendship share a mutual relationship with each other that deserves more reflection.

Where does love come from? We can consider relationships that have not succeeded and conclude that they were somehow due to our “failures in love.” In doing so, we assume that human beings are the ones responsible for love, its success and also its failure. While our weakness, emotional composition and sinfulness can easily impact our ability to love, its origin is not human. God is love. God is love’s author and origin. When we love, it is God who loves in and through us. It is because of this divine closeness that Jesus is able to call us friends! It is not because of anything we have done but simply because of who we are. Realizing and contemplating this awe-some reality becomes a game changer across the board. It gives us reason to clear the table of anything that can adversely affect the way we love so that we can open the door for its author to shine forth.

Coming upon this truth is what leads folks like St. Francis of Assisi to leave that which is comfortable and worldly and live a radical life. They relate with the love of God that radiates in and through all living things and appreciate their sacredness. It was having an intimate experience of God’s love and friend-ship that propelled St. Francis and others to embrace simplicity, act nonviolently, pursue humility, love enemies, care for the earth and open up avenues for true justice. Understanding this profound truth will also help us find peaceful solutions to world’s problems, restore relationships with our sisters and brothers, bring the grace of loving stewardship to creation and heal many wounds. Once we begin to see how wonderfully holy all of life really is, we discover joy. We lose our need for fear, develop a fierce fortitude, act prudently and seek justice. There is great power in love because it comes from God. It will never fail. It also enjoys the company of two other friends who are eager to become our friends as well: faith and hope. These are just as important to have and to share.

La sociedad actual tiene muchos sufrimientos y sinsabores; la pandemia ha dejado secuelas que no se curan tan fácilmente. Existe mucho por hacer, a pesar de que tenemos grandes héroes que arriesgaron su vida por la salud de otros. Tanto en el ambiente de la salud y la comida, hubo amor y esperanza de parte de mucha gente. Las personas eligieron hacer el bien en lugar de hacer el mal. La Iglesia misionera reza incansablemente por la salud y el bienestar de todos. ¿Qué hiciste tú, y que haces para aliviar el dolor de los demás? ¿Dónde pusiste tu amor durante el tiempo que estuviste en casa?

Hoy, la Liturgia nos presenta a Jesús con el mandato de vivir la alianza del amor. “Ámense los unos a los otros: esto es lo que les mando” (Juan 15:17). Tener amor es un don que solo el Espíritu de Dios puede encender en los corazones. Bien decimos al invocar al Espíritu Santo: Ven, Espíritu Santo y enciende mi corazón con el fuego de tu amor. Este Espíritu de Dios habita en nosotros desde nuestro bautismo. Solo falta abrirle el corazón para que crezca su llama. De ese modo estaremos listos para la misión. Quien se sabe amado lleva hasta el extremo el mandato de Jesús. ¡Amar hasta el extremo! Sus buenas obras son silenciosas pero llenas de misericordia. Con estas obras se da razón de la esperanza, concretamente la esperanza cristiana. Señor, ayúdanos a querer lo que tú haces y que sepamos hacer lo que tú quieres de nosotros, especialmente en este momento de la historia.

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