Read 1 John 3:11-21, Ps. 100, John 1:43-51

“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us-- and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” (1 John 3:16)

In today’s first reading, St. John teaches us the true meaning of love. Many of us assume that love is our strong attraction towards others. This feeling does not stand the test of time because it is selfish. We want to be with the person not for their sake but because we enjoy being with them. We soon realise we are not ready to sacrifice for them because we never cared about them in the first place.

To understand love, reflect on the Incarnation. Would you agree to become something you created with your hands? To understand love, consider the death of Jesus. Are you ready to die to save the person you claim to love? In reality, to love is to die to yourself. It is putting the good of others ahead of yours. If married couples were to love each other like Jesus loved us and died for us, our world would be a happier place.

Love is not about what you get from others but what you are willing to give. To love someone is committing to improving their lives physically and spiritually. St. John wonders: “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” (1 John 3:17-18).

In today’s Gospel passage, Philip showed love to Nathanael (also known as Bartholomew) by telling him about Jesus. Despite his reluctance, Philip was able to bring Nathanael to Jesus. Convincing others to come out of the darkness to embrace the light is difficult. However, if we truly love them, we will not allow them to perish without at least trying to bring them to Jesus.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, may I never be led astray in the name of love. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday before Epiphany. Bible Study: 1 John 3:11-21, Ps. 100, John 1:43-51).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu