In his epistles, St. John wrote an awful lot about love. In our first reading today from 1 John 4, the word “love” or a variation of it appears nine times in just four short verses. This guy could have been a country songwriter! In the Gospel reading from Mark 6, we see another miraculous feeding of a multitude, this time with five loaves and two fish; twelve wicker baskets full were left over.
Forgive my flip reference to St. John being a budding country songwriter. He was a prolific writer on love, and more songs have been written about that one topic than any other. But I would dare to say that most of the love songs ever written don’t really speak about real love. What do I mean by that? Listen to the words of St. John. “In this is love; not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” Now, I’m not much of a country music aficionado, but I don’t recall any country songs with those particular lyrics.
In this one verse, St. John reminds us again that it’s not all about us. Quite the contrary. It’s about God. You see, as much as we may think that our love is great and perfect, it can never measure up to the love that God has for us; that He has for YOU. He gave up His Son to pay for your sins. Now that’s love.
Father, we thank you for loving us enough to offer up your only Son. Teach us to truly love. Amen.