Reciprocating God’s Love

John 15: 9-11
Acts 15:7-21 / Ps 96:1-2,2-3,10

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.
(John 15:9)

How can we give back to the Father
For giving us Jesus, His Son?
Only by His love as we gather
Our people together as one.

(Jesus said,) “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:9-11)

Reflection

Have you ever wondered what motivated all the saints and martyrs to dedicate their lives to the point of death for the sake of Jesus and the Gospel? In the face of persecution, they seemed to be in a state of immeasurable joy. Instead of fear for their imminent death, they welcomed it like a loving friend. It was simply God’s love, the love that conquers all. Since they had all been true to God’s commandments, and abided in Christ’s love, they were all immersed completely in His joy, displacing all fears, doubts and even physical pains. Even death had lost its sting, because it became a doorway to eternal bliss in the Father’s kingdom.

The kind of love that our Lord Jesus speaks of is a special grace that the Father gives only to those who are steadfast in their obedience and in their faith. We can never outdo God in love because His love is without measure. Our love for others is merely a reflection of God’s love, and a natural response to his boundless compassion and mercy. We cannot help but give what we have already received.

An old high school classmate and brother from BCBP Alabang came to ask for my help in re-establishing a Namfrel “operation quick count” center in Davao city, barely four days before the national elections. For some reason, the former group had decided to back out at the last minute. It seemed a foolhardy decision to accept the chairmanship at such short notice, considering the manpower & logistics involved, but the call of love for brotherhood and country, and the power of faith that can be employed for such a noble undertaking were simply overpowering. Foolhardy, yes, but aren’t we supposed to be fools for Christ? God, help me, I accepted the offer.

St. Paul tells us that there is always reason for hope, since God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, Whom He has given us (Rom.5:5). Being personally involved in pursuing clean and honest elections is following Jesus’ will for us to love others as He has loved us. True love is sacrificial. There is no greater proof of love than sacrificing one’s time, effort and resources for the sake of our country’s future. Jesus proved his love for us by humbling Himself, becoming human, and even dying painfully as a sacrifice for our sins. How else can we reciprocate that love?

Lord, inflame our hearts to serve with love You and our beloved country. May our sacrifices in the coming political exercise be worthy of Your great love. Amen.

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