1991 May 5 – 6th Sun Easter (Bulletin Letters)
Cycel B – 6th SUN OF EASTER
1 Jn 4, 7-10
GOD IS LOVE 1st Jn. 4/8:
The word love appears nine times in the four verses of the second reading from 1st Jn. It also appears nine times in the Gospel reading from John. It would be safe to say that ‘Love’ is a major theme for this week’s liturgy. 1st John certainly gives ‘Love’ central importance when he equates God with love!
What kind of love do they mean?
The Greek New Testament uses three words for love. First there is Eros. It’s the feeling good, romantic kind of love. Its usually only skin deep and needs only one person to make happen.
The second word for love is Philia. It means the personal intimate love one gets from a friendship or committed relationship. This kind of love is reciprocal. It takes two people to make this love happen. Both people must put into the relationship what they hope to get from it, for it to work.
The third word for love is Agape. It means an understanding, compassionate, redeeming good will for all people. It is unconditional. It excludes no one. It is self sacrificing. It expects nothing in return. It is freely given. This kind of love is not reciprocal. It takes only one person in love with the world and everyone in it to make it happen
It is this agape kind of love that our second reading from 1st John and the Gospel text from John, has in mind. It is how God loves us. It’s not a passive love. It is a very active love. It engages the world for the sake of the truth, for the sake of the weak and the oppressed. When confronted with hate, it returns love. When treated violently, it remains non violent.
Agape is how God loves and Jesus is the clearest and strongest example of God’s love in action in the world. It is also clear from this week’s text, that Jesus expected his followers to love in the same way.
SISTER THERESE TO WRITE NEXT WEEK’S LETTER: My weekly pastor’s letters have served a number of purposes over the years. I have used them to preview the scriptural lessons for the weekend. They have been forums for me to share my faith based perspective on current events. I have used them as a public journal of my resistance efforts for peace and justice concerns, giving you full reports on my public witnesses and my reasoning behind them. Over the years I have shared with you some of my own personal ups and downs in my priestly life through these letters. They have been a good way for you to get to know your pastor..
It is for these reasons, I’ve asked St. Therese to start writing the pastor’s letter at least once a month so that we might get to know her better. She will start with next week’s bulletin. I’m sure we will all benefit from her contributions. I’m looking forward to next week’s letter.
Martin Luther King Jr.