The test of our love for Him

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014


LOVE is a popular word. People define it. People feel it. People from all walks of life experience it - some time, somewhere...

We claim to love so many people. Believers also claim to love God. If these two were true, then we fulfill everything that the Mosaic law and the writings of the prophets have prescribed. Our Lord Jesus Christ said so. In Matthew 22:34-40 we read: “When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with allyour mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’”

This brings us to the question, “How shall we truly love God?” Putting it the other way, “How will God know that we really love him? What is the test that shows our love for him?”

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In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus answers these questions. He said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:15, 23).

Obedience is thus a mark of our true love for God. We cannot say we love God but disregard his instructions. We cannot say we value him but ignore what he prescribes. One thing sure, God knows how much we love, or do not love him, for he has a perfect knowledge of everything that we do, even the deepest secrets of our hearts. He thus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

God longs for our sincere love, not a hypocritical one. As St. Paul writes, “Love must be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9).

God himself is the model of what love is. “The Father loved the Son and has placed everything in his hands” (John 3:35). The Son, in turn, has shown his love for the Father by his perfect obedience to his will, offering even his life for the salvation of the world. And the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, proceeds from the Father and the Son - three Persons, One God, bound together by perfect love.

This unity, God also offers to his children. Jesus declared, “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). Earlier on, he said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides in you, and he will be in you” (John 14: 16-17).

All these spiritual truths about the Holy Trinity and our very own union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit may, at first, be not that easy to understand, for only through the eyes of love can these be fully grasped. We thus pray that God open our eyes, that we may see the wonders of this amazing love as we, by his grace, strive to keep his commands.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 22, 2014.

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