Scripture: Lectionary # 296: Acts 18:23-28. Psalm 47:2-3.8-9.10. John
Jesus assures us: "The Father already loves you, because you have loved me
and have believed that I came from God." (The Prologue confirms this in
majestic language, John 1:1-18). Our prayers are to be rooted in this love
and made through Jesus to the Father. They are assured of being heard
because of love that God has put into our hearts from the beginning of time
and more personally through our Baptism.
The gift of God's love is a constant love in chapters 13-17 and then shown
in action through Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection in chapters
18-21 in John. Jesus' prayer is one of love, peacfulness, and unity. He
has always loved us and now as he prepares us for his leaving us through
his Ascension to the Father, we are promised the Holy Spirit the Person of
the Trinity who is absolute love. The Spirit is the love of God for the
Son and the Son for the Father. We too share this because we believe in
Jesus and are not born of the flesh, nor of the will of others, but of God.
We are told in John's First Letter that we cannot love a God whom we do not
see. Our love for the Father is shown through our love for the Son who
lived among us and now lives among us in a new way through the Spirit. It
is this love that we experience when we truly ask God for our needs and
those of others through prayer made in the name of Jesus. Petionary love or
intercessory love is encouraged by Jesus as we listen to him today in John
Love is expressed best in simple words and deeds. Jesus tells us about
this and says he now is not speaking in riddles but in plain speech. The
way he speaks in John's Gospel is the way of love, therefore, much seems to
be repetitious and quite simple. Yet this is love at its best. The husband
and wife who greet and kiss each other with the expression, "I love you"
before leaving for work each day understand the message of John. This is
so simple and yet so communicative and profound that such couples know the
deepest meaning of the sacrament of matrimony. They remain together
throughout the years in a harmonious way and the simple expression reminds
them of the love God has given them. Though the words are repetitious and
quite simple it moves the one loved who desires to hear these words and
they in turn reciprocate. It takes three persons to make such love in the
sacrament of matrimony, the woman, the man, and God who gives them love.
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