Beloved, we love God because
he first loved us.
If anyone says, “I love God,”
but hates his brother, he is a liar;
for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen
cannot love God whom he has not seen.
This is the commandment we have from him:
Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 Jn 4:19-21)
When I was younger, I used to go with my father when it was time for him to shop for a new car. Dad was like many of the people of his generation: a keen shopper. Some people would call it “picky”.
I would listen to dad bicker with the salesman. I would listen to other people on the floor bicker and dicker with their sales people as well. “I want this on the car. I don’t want this. Even though it comes with this, I don’t want it so I don’t want to have to pay for it.” On and on it would go.
Picking options. Picking colors. Picking warranties. Picking, picking, picking. That might work with cars. However, it does not work with God.
God is a package deal. There is no picking and choosing. That is what St. John was trying to get across in today’s reading. We cannot say we love God if we refuse to love others. Since God is love and since God has challenged us to love all people, there can be no room in our hearts for hate or apathy. There can only be room for love.
How horrible it would be to face God at the end of our lives and to have Him point a finger at us and say, “Out of my sight, you liar!”
If we say we love God but fail to love our brothers and sisters, we are, indeed, liars. Let us love today in word and deed so that we may live like the Lord.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who refuse to love others as they should as well as those who have problems loving themselves.