Simple, Yet Hard
1 JN 5:5-13
My dear encountered couples:
It is important that we don’t overlook what our first readings have been saying this week. They have been taken from the 1st letter of John and deal with love - love of God and love of neighbor. They have been equating love of God with love of our brothers and sisters. We cannot do the one without the other. Let us listen to how John puts it:
“If anyone says, ‘My love is fixed on God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. One who has not love for the brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: Whoever loves God must also love his brother (and sister).”
That gets right to the point, doesn’t it? But how often we forget! We pray, we do good deeds, we show love for God and our fellow men and women, but it seems there is always someone in our lives we wish would disappear. That might be putting it mildly. There might be somebody we just can’t stand, whom we are jealous of, angry with, unforgiving of, whom we find ourselves wishing something bad would happen to. Loving God seems so much easier than loving one another. After all, God is always good and kind.
But let us look at it this way. Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount said we are to become perfected like our heavenly Father is perfect. Our heavenly Father loves every one of our brothers and sisters with all their quirks and irritable ways. Jesus died for all of us even while we were sinners. If we are to become perfect like that, we have to learn to love everybody. Or at least try very hard to love them. When you get tempted not to love a particular person, don’t only count to ten and say a quick prayer. With your faith take a good look at that person. That is Jesus Christ you are looking at. To love God we must love our neighbor. It is as simple as that. Or should I say, “As hard as that?”