6th Sunday of Easter
For me it’s one of the great lines of Sacred Scripture:
“this is the love I mean: not our love for God, but God’s love for us when he sent his Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away”.
That’s what love is. It is the act of God, giving himself on the cross for us. Love is not something we do, it doesn’t start with us, as St John says it comes from God.
In the Gospel Jesus commands us to love as he has loved and he tells us that he loves us as the Father loves him. So this love, which is self giving is a love at the heart of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father loves the Son, the Father gives himself to the Son and it is this eternal self giving by the Father that is the reason why the Son is (it’s what we mean in the creed by Eternally begotten of the Father). The God the Son is the gift that God the Father gives, the Son is gift.
And this gift which is not just the gift of God, but is the gift which is God, is seen also in the gift of God the Holy Spirit, a gift that cannot be contained.
‘God is love’ could also be ‘God is gift’; that is at the heart of the Divine Word today, we are called by love, called by God’s self gift, which we see in the one on the cross, to love, we are called to become gift. That love, which is gift, is what God is. That love which is gift, which is God, is given in the Sacraments, given in the gift of the Holy Spirit, given in communion, given on the cross.
God who is the gift given to us makes it possible for us to become gift and thus to become part of the love which is God.