Because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit


Epistle, (Rom. 5: 1-10), talks about God’s love and our reconciliation with our Father through the sacrifice of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, by His death on the cross. “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (Jn. 3:16). The holy Apostle thus gives us courage: even if we are to suffer, as Christians we know the reason for our suffering

This is why the Word of God, the holy Revelation, is also called the Gospel, the Good News. It holds the entire meaning of Christianity, the essence of our faith. The Gospel is the “Little Bible,” as a modern day theologian calls it. “If it so happened that the entire Old Testament were lost, even if the whole New Testament were lost, the loss would be tragic, but the entire essence of the Holy Scriptures would be preserved in this single verse which encompasses the entire meaning of Christianity.

If this verse were to be reduced to one word and if the essence of our faith were to be expressed in one word, that word would be LOVE. If all human knowledge of God were to be defined in one word, that word would again be LOVE. This is what the Apostle of love, St. John the Theologian, means when he says that God is love

When one of the greatest Protestant scholars, Karl Bart, was asked by his students to define the substance of Christianity in a single sentence, the famous theologian thought for a while and then recited a verse from a lullaby that his mother sang to him in his early childhood: “Jesus loves me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so”. You see how the greatest mysteries of Heaven and earth can be expressed in the simplest and most common words

Try to reflect more deeply on the words of the epistle, try to delve into their meaning and to discover the good and joyful news they bring: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (Jn. 3:16). Anything a human being possesses, even in the greatest possible quantity, is just a faint reflection of God and His qualities. Our human love is only a reflection of the love of God. If there ever was a great love on earth, it is the love for one’s children. This is why the holy Apostle tells us to try to understand the greatness of God’s love for us by comparing it to our love for our own children: “God sent forth His Son… that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Ga. 4:4-5). “Behold what manner of love the father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God!” (1 Jn. 3:1)

Let us follow Christ, and let us follow the path of thorns and suffering which He walked from His birth to his death on the cross. The Lord God, Creator of Heaven and earth, out of his ineffable love for us sinners, came down from the heavens in the form of a servant and died for us. Let each one of us imagine himself standing with the Mother of God under the Cross on which Her Son was hanging. Can we ever fathom the greatness of Christ’s love for us

Father Anthony Koniaris tells about a well-known medieval theologian who once announced that he would be giving a homily on God’s love to his fellow citizens. At the end of the day, as the last rays of the sun were illuminating the church, the people began to gather in silence, awaiting the start of the evening service and the sermon of the well known elder. When the last ray of light disappeared into the darkness, the old monk took a lighted candle from a candleholder and took it to the icon of Christ on the Cross. Slowly he brought the candle to the wounds on Christ’s feet, then to the wounds on His hands and finally to the wound on His side. Then, silently, he set down the candle to illumine the crown of thorns on Christ’s head. This was his sermon. The people stood in silence and wept. Everyone in the church felt that he or she had touched the essence of a great mystery which transcends all human understanding

God’s love is so deep, so profound and eternal that it cannot be expressed even in terms of a miracle, nor can it be measured or understood by the human mind. Would God have given up in vain something so precious to Him as His only-begotten Son, and would our Lord Jesus Christ have sacrificed Himself in vain, without expecting an answer from us, the ones that He sacrificed Himself for? No, dear brothers and sisters, God’s love requires an answer from us, a twofold answer. To God’s love we must answer with love for Him and with love towards our neighbour, the image and semblance of God Himself. St. Paul said that he was ready to die for the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 21:13). And he asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword?” (Rom. 8:35). And he answers, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:37-38)

The Apostle proved the truthfulness of this answer with his life and with his death. Traveling from one end of the earth to the other he dedicated his whole life to the love of Jesus Christ so that he was able to say of himself that it was no longer he who was living, but Christ in him. “The life which I now live in the flesh,” says St. Paul, “I live by faith in the Son of god, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). Our answer to God’s love should not be lesser than the Apostle’s. For Apostle Paul, Christ was life and death was a prize. Where are we when we compare ourselves to him

One does not reach God by reading thick volumes and with intellectual knowledge, but only by love. “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 Jn. 4:8), says St. John the Theologian. The way to God is through love for one’s brother and sister, creatures of God. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13:34-35)

This is the measure according to which we will be judged. On these two commandments, that we love God and our neighbour, hang all the law an the prophets. (Mt. 22:40)