“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16
WHAT IS LOVE?
Love is one of the Christian virtues. God is love and when we love, we are close to God and that makes us happy and satisfied. When we do not love others it drives us away from God and makes us unhappy. Love is a grace, a gift from God and without it we cannot be the people that God wants us to be.
As Christians we are called to love one another. Only love can bring peace to the world but our pride often stops us from being loving. Pride is a sin and it means having too great a sense of our own importance, in our thoughts and in the way that we act. We can be proud when we take too much pleasure in something that we have done or something that we own. Pride is giving ourselves the glory and the credit for something rather than giving it to God. When we are proud we compete against everyone else to be the best and we judge others so we are not being loving. The opposite of pride is humility and when we are humble we treat everyone equally and this draws us closer to God. Humility is difficult but it is the only way that we can love others as Our Heavenly Father loves us.
God’s love is unconditional, that means that there are no limits to His forgiveness and love. Our love and forgiveness should similarly be without limits. We all sin and turn away from God at times but that doesn’t mean God hates us. He loves us and is always willing to forgive us if we turn back to Him. In the same way we should be forgiving. In the story of the prodigal son, Jesus said that when the father saw his son coming back to him, he ran towards him and welcomed him. When the young son said that he had spent all his father’s money and expected to be treated like a slave, the father forgave him completely. This is an example of unconditional love. Jesus told this parable to show us how to forgive because when we forgive others then God will forgive us as Jesus taught us in the Lord’s prayer, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”
When we are selfish and we don’t care about other people then we can make them unhappy and sad. Our careless words or actions can have a devastating impact on others. We should be careful to look after and care for each other. We are all brothers and sisters, one family, that is united in God and the Church and we should try to never hurt or offend anyone in our family. God is our father and Mary is our mother and we should love them both. Jesus died for us because he loved us so much and we should return His love. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16) If he hadn’t loved us enough to die for us then we would have to suffer ourselves for our sins in eternal damnation so we should accept his invitation to go to heaven and to be holy and be on fire with His love.
Written by Joel Vincent