Who Loves Us?

Written by Sr. Rosemary Finnegan, O.P.
Readings from: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010720.cfm

One of the Christmas cards I received had a lovely Portuguese proverb on the front which said:

“To love God is the greatest of virtues; to be loved by God is the greatest of blessings.”

That was the message in our lovely first reading today: “Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God, but that God has loved us and has sent his Son as an offering for our sins.” That single phrase “God has loved us” – how humbling, how incomprehensible!

Yet, how apparent is this love in our lives?

One day the Minister of the Imperial Court asked Mother Teresa some searching questions: “What do you want from the government?”
She answered: “Nothing. I have come only to offer my Sisters to work among the poor suffering people.”
He continued: “What will your Sisters do?”,
Mother Teresa responded: “We give wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”
So he asked: “What qualifications do they have?”,
To which she said: “We try to bring tender love and compassion to the unwanted, to the unloved.”
He continued: “Do you preach to the people trying to convert them?”
Humbly she said: “Our works of love reveal to the suffering poor the love of God for them.”

Granted, we’re not Mother Teresa, but she read the same Scriptures, and followed the same Lord as we do. She heard today’s gospel story and followed the example of the Christ’s compassionate love. When Jesus saw the crowd was hungry, he had pity of them. He spent time with them, taught them, then told his disciples to feed them. He continues to feed us today.

We are those disciples in our time. Our call is just as uniquely personal, and just as real where we live and work. “Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God.”
If we have put on Christ, if we appreciate God’s love, our love will be evident in the compassion we show and in the service we offer to others.

Jesus empowered his first disciples, and he wants to empower us to do the work of the kingdom. He wants us to bring his life-giving bread to all we meet – our family, friends, co-workers, even our enemies. Try these two simple things today:

  1. Over and over throughout the day, repeat the phrase: “love one another because God is love”, and,
  2. Be sensitively aware of those around us, and extra -conscious of how we can be a compassionate instrument of God’s love to them.

“To love God is the greatest of virtues; to be loved by God is the greatest of blessings.”