1St Reading: Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35, 44-48
2nd Reading: 1 John 4: 7-10
Gospel: John 15: 9-17
There is the emphasis on love of neighbour. There should be no dividing walls among Christians. Jews and Gentiles alike, we are to reflect the union and love found among the three persons in the one God-head.
The 1st reading is Luke’s description of the speech of Peter which ended with the baptism of the household of Cornelius.
The highlight of this speech remains the insight
into the nature of God’s love. He shows no partiality and does not withhold His favour from any deserving people or race.
John’s Epistle has this characteristic theme of love and just as we have seen in the past weeks of this Easter period, God is love.
In today’s 2nd reading, John builds on this truth and enjoins all to love one another.
In the Gospel, John uses the mutual love that exists between the persons of the Trinity as a basis for the love that the Son loves us and the love that He wants us to show to others.
Homily Theme: That First Love…
My dear friends,
I was in the company of a friendly couple and the man introduced his wife to me saying: “meet my first love…”
Initially, I was confused and wondered aloud if he could have taken a second wife.
The man quickly read the confusion on my face and jumped in to save my anxiety by explaining: “I mean that she is my best love… the first is always the best.”
Whether that man was right or not, the fact
remains that many people, like him, conventionally think that the first love receives the greatest and dearest attention.
When one says, “he or she was my first love,” the reference is to the fact that he or she enjoyed the best of such love relationship.
The 2nd reading and the Gospel both tell us of the God who first loved us. God is love and he first loved and chose us. Our love for Him is only a response to that love of God.
We are His “first love” by chronology and by content. In time, God was the first to show love to man and by content, we have really had a great share of that first love.
Today, it is important to ask ourselves how many of us, by content, can see and take God as our “first love.” How many of us are disposed to show God that unconditional love that characterizes the life of fresh lovers.
Strictly speaking, God does deserve that ‘first love’ but we sometimes deny Him that right.
Can we begin something even today…? Yes! God, who chronologically loved us first also wants us to take Him as our ‘first love’ by content.
One may ask, how can this be done? We have some explicit insight from the readings of this Mass.
Love of God demands that we keep His commandment. Just as fresh lovers struggle to avoid hurting their partners, if we see God as our first love, it could help us strive harder to keep His commandments which practically call us to love our neighbour.
This is the only way to show that we love Him.
May God remain our ‘first love’ AMEN.
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