Love of God in Concrete Actions

Sunday, May 14, 2023

READINGS: ACTS 8:5-8;14-17; PS 66:1-7, 16, 20; 1 PT 3:15-18; JN 14:15-21

The readings on the sixth Sunday of Easter remind us that God must come first and foremost in our lives, and that love of God shows itself in concrete actions — this is precisely why our Catholic faith and way of life is so important.

Our second reading, from Saint Peter, challenges us to, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.” In other words, we are to put Christ first above all else in our lives. His role is not merely as Savior of our lives, as significant as that role is — He is to be “Lord” of our lives as well. There is the temptation to give him our half measure. To not be too committed. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux said, “You cannot be half a saint, you must be a whole saint or no saint at all. As Jesus’ disciples, we are called to make Him ruler of all aspects of our lives — our time, talent, and treasure on the path to sainthood.

The beauty of our faith and way of life is that it offers us a concrete means to show that Christ truly is Lord of our lives, to “prove” our love, in a manner of speaking, because true love is not a mere sentiment. “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me,” Jesus tells us in our Gospel passage from Saint John.

True love is an act of the will. It requires obedience to all of God’s commandments. This requires courage, humility, and deep trust in Him.

But the rewards of this kind of love are indescribably wonderful. Christ tells us Himself, “Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”  Could there be anything more satisfying to live in such a way that the God of the universe is pleased to reveal more and more of Himself to us?