In today's readings we learn that all who hear God's word and obey it are welcome to the salvation offered by God. We are also reminded of the reoccurring theme of the Easter season: obey the commandments and love one another.
Some people might view the 10 commandments as a "do not do" list that God gave to Moses. However, the list of commandments are really guidelines that teach us how to love. The first three commandments show us how to love God and the final seven show us how to love others.
The second reading tells us, "God is love." Therefore, God equals love and love equals God. Did you ever think of that before? Not that God is love, but that love is God.
God is the source of love for the whole world. Just as water cycles around the world in clouds, rain, rivers, oceans and into clouds again, God's love cycles through us and our neighbors. As we love, we are really spreading God and sharing God with others.
Part of God, part of love, is forgiveness. The second reading tells us, "God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him." When we hold a grudge or will not forgive another person, we withhold love from them. When someone is angry with us, or holding something against us, they withhold love from us. In these instances, both parties
are losing the heart of the relationship with each other and they are without the life of the other.
When Jesus died to free us from sin, it was to open us to love and forgiveness, and introduce us to God the Father as pure love. He died for us to show us a better love than the love we often live. In the Gospel, Jesus instructs us to "remain in His love". We must remain with God to be able to love others and be forgiving. In his commandments, God isn't trying to hold us back or squash our zeal for life, he is trying to help us live more fully. Jesus tells us to remain with Him so that our "joy may be complete." He summarizes the one lesson that we need to hear over and over again by saying, "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you."
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