“…AND HE WHO LOVES IS BORN OF GOD AND KNOWS GOD” (1 John 4:7)
????1 John 4:7-16; Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11 (R.v.2a); John 11:19-27
The evangelist John tells us that “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16). He further says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ while he hates his brother, he is a liar. How can he love God whom he does not see, if he does not love his brother whom he can see?” (1 John 4:20).
In the theology of John, there is a correlation between faith and love. Everything in Johannine corpus, both the teachings and miracles, serve one important purpose; they invite us to faith in God. But since God is love, love becomes a test of this faith.
St Martha, whose Memorial we celebrate today, provides us with the example of that correlation. Her declaration of Jesus as “Christ” and the “Son of God” (John 11:27) is a perfect profession of faith. Peter earned a great commendation and promotion from Jesus when he made a similar declaration (cf. Matt 16:16). But Martha did not end at the declaration alone, he showed love to Jesus and his disciples by attending to their needs (cf. Like 10:38-40; John 12:2).
A man who claimed to be a “born-again” told his siblings that the only way to get any help from him was if they also become “born-again” like him. Of course, that means changing their Church to his. True to his words, he never helped any of them who didn’t oblige him. What a crisis of identity.
May we, like St Martha, learn to live out our faith through acts of love towards our neighbours especially those of them in need, irrespective of who they are and what they do. May we love unconditionally as Christ did and so have him as our resurrection and life (cf. John 11:25), amen.
I wish you a faithful and lovely weekend. Peace be with you.