The love of God demands, calls for, reciprocity

      Isn’t it good to feel wanted…to be chosen. Think about all those special moments we experience throughout our lives.

      We wait with hearts thumping on the playground, hoping we’ll be one of the first picked for the ball game. We beam with pride because we were chosen to play the lead in the school play. Our science project was picked as the best. Our first choice college welcomed us in. We’re chosen out of a number of applicants for that great job.

      The woman/man we love most in the world chooses us to be his/her spouse.

      The list goes on. Much of life is spent hoping we are the chosen one.

      So, we must ask ourselves, do we feel the same thrill knowing we are chosen by God? That we are the beloved of God?

      Everything we’ve been told reminds us we are loved by God, but is the concept something we hold in our mind – an abstract concept - rather than in our hearts and our very souls?

      Do we allow ourselves to genuinely feel the love God has for each of us? If we did, the feeling would be overwhelming, don’t you think? Shouldn’t we all be jumping for the joy of it?

      Think about it, God’s love is real because without it, we wouldn’t have Jesus. (Read John 3:16.) It is precisely through Jesus that God’s love is revealed to us.

      Love exists, not as something of our own creation, but rather as an outpouring of our Creator.

      So read this weekend’s Gospel carefully (Jn 15:9-17). This is not merely a hold-hands-and-sing-Kumbaya feel good moment. I believe Jesus’ words are meant to empower and inspire us to feel the love of God pouring into us so powerfully, so completely, that it, in turn, can’t help but flow out of us into others.

      In this short passage, Jesus uses the word “love” eight times. That’s not insignificant.

      The love Jesus shares with the Father, he now shares with us. “…I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you.”

      Jesus chose us! How magnificent is that! 

      How on earth can we possibly remain like toads on a tree stump in the face of this gift? For it’s true, love calls us to action. Think about the loving relationships in your own life. Do we reciprocate or so we simple take without giving? How deep would that kind of love go and how long would it last? God’s love is most certainly unconditional but it does call us to action? One could say that without love in our own hearts manifested to others, we cannot possibly say we know God.

      Remember last week’s Gospel of the vine and branches? We were called to bear great fruit with the warning that what appeared dead would be cut away and destroyed.

      Love, which is true love, goes in two-directions always: it flows in and flows out. This is what Jesus stresses to his disciples on this day. Through love, he has chosen us to bear fruit…fruit that will continue to generate new life, new love.

      And just in case we’re struggling to get it, he says, “This I command you: love one another.”

      It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

     Debbie Bosak is the editor and general manager of Northwest Indiana Catholic Publications and a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Merrillville. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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