6TH SUNDAY OF EASTER – B
God is love! It is the most basic understanding of God and of love! We can never know who God is in his Essence but we understand what he is in relations to us, that is: he is love and he loves us!
We used to understand God in the classical theology that he is a Pure Being, immutable in its perfection. But that kind of theological notion does not really mean anything to us other than a mental exercise. Because God is love, he begets! That is how we understand God the Father begetting his Son from all eternity: Because the Father loves and the Son is begotten, the Holy Spirit becomes the bond of love hence he is the begetting. From this primordial act of love, we have a glimpse of the Trinity who is a Pure-being-in-love! Therefore the essence of God is love! Because they are three persons loving each other, there is a perfect communion that overflows unto creation. This is how the world and humanity came into being. We are the fruits of the overflow of the self-gifting of the love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with each other that creates all realities and is continuously bringing these realities unto the Trinitarian communion!
Jesus proclaimed that basic primordial truth: the Father loved him so he loves us just the same. But being loved is not only a privilege and a gift, it is a responsibility: being loved by the Father, Jesus kept the Father’s commandments and remained in his love. This is what he asks of us: to remain in his love and keep his commandments. Jesus possesses that perfect joy in being loved by the Father and he wants to share that joy to us. On the day before he died, he left us a new commandment: "love one another, as I have loved you!" The standard of love is the love of God to us. Why do we love? Because we are persons created out of love! We are loved by the Father and so he begets us the way he loves his son and begets him. St. John (in the second reading today) reminds us that “he who loves is begotten by God”. But the love of the Father does not end in begetting his son, rather in sending him to us as our Saviour. The fruitfulness of begetting the Son is made through the sacrifice of letting go of him (the Incarnation) for the sake of humanity. This means that the true love of the Father is not possessing the Son he loves but by giving him away to us. sharing the same essence of love with Father, Jesus understands this when he dispossessed himself of his divine attributes (Kenosis) by becoming man like us. Indeed there is no greater love than his love for us when he laid down his life for us. This is why he asks to do the same: to lay down our life for our friends.
In the begetting of the Son by the Father, the fruitfulness of love finds its concrete manifestation in the mission of the Son when he was sent to us. When the Father created us in the image of his Son, he also commissioned us his sons: “to go out and to bear much fruit.” Every single act of goodness is the incarnation of love as charity to others.
Love is not a noun; it is a verb, it is an event! This is how we know what God is: a Person who is madly in love with us and invites us to enter into this Trinitarian communion of love!
Our love, imperfect it may be, has two wings: faith and hope! When we love we soar to the heavens whilst our feet our grounded in the abyss below (Hans Urs von Balthasar); when we do this, we shine the brightest because we become one with God who is love!