In more than half and it is probably closing in on three quarters of the weddings I have done, this Gospel Reading from John is the one the couple choose. Sometimes I am not sure if they realise they have a choice and so are just following what they have heard in the weddings they have attended. Nevertheless the sentiment of the Reading is most appropriate for the occasion.

 

It is also a sentiment that is appropriate when considering any of our relationships. All human relationships need to be governed by love and self offering. Any relationship that has the self as the focus will shrivel and die because eventually the other runs out of love to give because there is no reciprocal infilling of love occurring. We begin to understand this dynamic better as we reflect upon the selfless nature of the Father’s love for his Son and vice versa. Elsewhere in the Gospels Jesus continues the image by saying that we need to love one another in the same way that God has loved us and that we want others to love us.

 

The circle is now complete. The image of the Father and Son’s love for each other comes first; we are drawn into the circle of that love and then we are commanded to continue it in our love for one another. In this way love will continue to abound indefinitely. This is the intention of God as he knows that it is true love that has the power to change peoples’ lives for the better. Discipline can bring a certain level of change in so far as someone is motivated to accept the pain out of fear, the desire for the effects or some other reason. However, love is self-fulfilling and self-perpetuating. This is something of its wonder and magnificence! Love, as so many saints and theologians have come to realise, is beautiful.

 

Let us never be afraid to love, even those who refuse to love us in return. Let us be captured and enraptured by love’s beauty such that we never tire of sharing it with one another.

 

Holy Spirit, help me to receive as much of God’s love for me as I possibly can. I want to be filled up with his love so that I can be emptied of it as I share the Gospel with others.