Several years ago my cell phone rang and when I looked at the number it looked like someone from Mars was calling it was like nothing I had ever seen before.
When I answered it was not Mars but rather Kevin from Ireland.
He was one of our students who had gone over and gotten a job after graduation
After the formalities I asked him if he was OK
I don't get calls from Ireland every day or every year in fact that was the first call ever.
And he told me the reason he was calling was simple
He had finally said the "L" word
He was in love…
I remember long talks with Kevin
He was afraid he would never say "L" word
He was afraid that he would never really be able to love any one
He convinced himself that he would never share his life with anyone
When I asked him how it happened and why he had finally said it
His response was simple…
There came a moment in our relationship when I was happy to do things for her
And really happy to give up things for her
That's when I knew.
When I started happily giving up things I loved for her.
Kevin and John the Evangelist have a lot in common when it comes to their understanding of love.
John's Gospel is the gospel of Love.
He always talks about it
Remember "God is Love and whoever abides in love abides in God and God in him"
That's John's Gospel
For John like Kevin Love is not a sentiment
It is not a feeling even a strong feeling
Love is only love when it is a verb
Love is only love when it is demonstrated real by actions
Love is only love when it is lived in actions day in and day out.
God so loved the world that he sent his only Son that wall who believe in Him might not perish but have eternal life.
John can say God is love because he had experienced God's love
in real way during his life.
Remember John was the only Apostle to stand at the foot of the Cross
And in today's passage Jesus says
"If you love me you will keep my commandments"
Love is not a sentimental pleasurable feeling which makes us happy
Love is an action a deed which we are happy to perform only because we love
Hopefully all of us have been loved
All of us have experienced love in action.
Most of your parents loved them you in action.
They went to jobs they didn't like
Put new sneakers on your feet when they needed things themselves.
Got up in the middle of the night when you were sick
Accepted the innumberable number of colds you brought home from school and still hugged you.
Love is action..That's all it is
How can you tell you love someone
You sacrifice for them
How can you tell if you love God your actions not your feelings testify to it.
" You love me if you keep my commandments"
The first readings speaks of love in the same vein
Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ
Samaria was not a favorite place of the Jews
Many would have said why waste your time there
Yet that is where he went
He went to convert people that many Jews felt were not worthy of the Gospel
He did not sit on the Gospel
He did not use the good news for himself and his benefit
but his love compelled him
his love in action compelled him
to preach it even to people like the Samaritans.
His was a Love in action which won over so many for Christ.
Just like Philip went out of his way to share the Gospel
Went out of his way to do something good for someone
We have to do something if our love is real
we have to act
Our love must be mirrored in our flesh.
Who have we loved ?
Who have we reached out to even when it was not easy
Who have we continued to love even when our efforts to love, or to ack
were not immediately reciprocated or maybe even appreciated.
Love does not stay on the couch
Love does not simply wish someone well from afar
Love gets involved
You can't say you love the poor if you never get involved in their lives
You can't say you love your children if you do not sacrifice for them
You can't say you love God If you don't keep his commandments.
Love is a verb
We don't just feel it
It is only real when we do it.