“God Is Love” (1 John 4:8) – this is something we have all heard many times. In fact, we may have become so used to it that we don’t remember how revolutionary and unique that conception of God really is. There are many religions in the world, and many of them have come to understand that God is good; but almost all of them start with humanity’s search for God. Because human nature is limited, that search can only arrive to a limited view of God. Christianity is different. Christianity is about God’s search for humanity. When Jesus Christ came to earth, he came in order to rescue the fallen human race from evil and bring it to the joys of eternal life. Thus, in Christianity, we have the privilege of receiving God’s own revelation of himself – he actually shows us, in Christ, who he is and what he is like. His most fundamental and essential characteristic is love – not power, not knowledge, not transcendence – but love. This explains why Jesus came to earth in the first place: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). This also explains what the Holy Trinity is all about. If God were solitary, how could his nature be love? Love always means relationship and self-giving. God can only be love if he is both one and three: three divine persons, each one fully divine, living from all eternity in an unbreakable unity of mutual love. God is love. In other words, God is one, as the Catechism puts it, but not solitary (CCC 254) (adapted from www.epriest.com).
As we gradually reopen the church in the next few days and weeks, I hope that we realize the value of relationships – relationships that we have missed because of months of social isolation, but are all the more important at this time. We are excited to begin our reopening of St. John’s on Monday June 8, with 9 am Mass. Please read my letter from last week, or watch the video that we produced which is all about the reopening procedures. Both can be found on our website: www.churchofstjohn.com. While some restrictions are still in place, we need to rekindle and foster relationships perhaps in new ways. As I said recently, you cannot be a Christian in isolation, because it goes against the very definition of being a Christian. We are part of something bigger, and we are together in the many crises facing our world, even if each of us also has unique struggles. May God bless us in his searching and personal love for us, from which flows our mission as a church: to love God, love people, and make disciples.