St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious
1 John 4:7-10 + Mark 6:34-44
January 4, 2022
In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
“Love” is cheap in modern society. It means little and bears little fruit because it is rooted in the self. St. John in today’s First Reading reveals that the truth about love is contrary to what modern society preaches. True love is rooted outside the self.
Modern society claims that the lack of self-esteem is a chief cause of social problems. Boasting self-esteem therefore becomes a major aim. Yet an individual’s self-esteem inevitably degenerates into selfishness if it’s not rooted in the love that God has for that individual.
God is love. God is love, pure and simple. God is love through and through. In other words, God is the gold standard of love. Authentic love of oneself has to be measured against the love Who is God.
Love begins and ends with God. From His very nature as love, God loves each human being. Through this love, God the Father calls each human being to be transformed into the likeness of His love.
God the Father’s love is primary, before any human love and, indeed, before any human existence. In the order of salvation history, the Father’s love for each human being has unfolded as St. John describes in the First Reading: “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” In these words, the love that lies at the heart of Christmastide shines clear. This love of God the Father and God the Son for fallen man is the love to which God calls each human person to aspire.