Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the Word of God speaking to us about what true faith and dedication to the Lord is like. It is basically, as we have heard from the Scriptures, to obey God is first and foremost about love. We cannot be true disciples of the Lord without love, and if we do not love God with all of our might, we cannot indeed call ourselves as Christians.
This is what the Lord expects from us, to be loving just as He is loving. First of all, of course we must love Him first, for if we do not love God, then indeed, we do not truly know what love is. All love ultimately came from God, and whenever we love, we have shown the same love which came from God, and which He Himself had shown us. Yes, God has shown us His great love, that, as St. John wrote in his Gospel, He sent us His most beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
In his Epistle to St. Timothy, St. Paul wrote that even when we are unfaithful to God, God will always remain faithful, as He cannot deny Himself. What does this mean? It means that, even though we have sinned against God and done things which were unworthy and wicked in His presence, but God would still continue to love us regardless, and He will still want each and every one of us to be reconciled with Him.
That is why He sent us His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be the One through Whom salvation could come to all of us mankind. We should have merited destruction and annihilation by our disobedience and sins, but God withheld His anger and judgment, and gave us one last hope in Christ. That was just how much God has loved us, that He was willing to give us everything He could, including even to give up His life for us on the cross, that we might live.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, the cross itself is a symbol of love, a love that is perfect and selfless, a love that each and every one of us must imitate and have in our own lives. And by looking at the cross itself, we can immediately see what we need to do in our loving relationship with God and with one another, as what the Lord had commanded us to do, and which Our Lord Jesus reiterated in today’s Gospel passage.
There are two most important commandments in the Law, that is first of all, to love the Lord our God with all of our might and abilities, which the cross represents with the vertical bar, leading up from us on earth to heaven, as the Lord Jesus offered Himself up to be the One to bridge the gap between us and God His Father. And thus, through Christ, we have received God’s love, and then we ought to love Him back in the same way.
Then, all of us must also remember to love one another, our fellow men, just as the Lord Jesus extended His love for everyone. He loved even all those who have hated and persecuted Him, and forgave them from the cross, praying to His Father, so as not to account them for the sins they have committed due to their ignorance of the truth. The horizontal bar of the cross reminds us of this obligation, to be bearers of love to one another.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, guided by the love of Christ embodied in the cross, let us all as Christians who believe in Him and His love, be exemplary in our loving attitude towards, first of all, our God, Who loves each and every one of us, and then, towards our fellow brothers and sisters, even to those who have not loved us or treated us badly.
May the Lord be with us all, that we may ever grow further in our faith and in our love, both for Him and for one another. May the cross of Christ be our guide in our lives, so that day after day, we may come to love more generously and more tenderly. May God bless us all, now and forevermore. Amen.