GOD SO LOVED US
On the fourth Sunday of Advent we celebrate God’s love – an unconditional love that was freely given to all of us. Love was the focus of God’s plan of salvation. “For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love …” (Eph. 1:3-5).
It was out of love for humanity that God did what for humans is impossible or inconceivable – the mystery of the incarnation. “God became human and lived among us” (John 1:14). When love was made manifest in Jesus, we saw that love is far more than an abstract idea or emotion.
God’s plan for salvation was inclusive with no cultural ostracism as evident in his choice of Mary to be the mother of Jesus. Mary was young, poor, and female. These qualities made her unsuitable in the eyes of her people to be used mightily by God. Joseph was a humble carpenter, yet God chose him to be Jesus’ human father because Jesus was also truly human and would be exposed to threats which demanded parental care. God saw Mary and Joseph’s trust and obedience and knew they would willingly serve God in one of the most important callings ever given to a human being. It was God’s love at work even among those whom society rejected and excluded.
When Jesus entered our sin-ridden world and gave his life for us, he demonstrated how vastly he loves us. This gift was given to us so that, like all good gifts, we would share it with others. In the safety and fullness of his love, we can love others with action. In love we can serve others by putting someone else’s needs before your own. By doing these things, we bring God’s love, personally, to people and live out the commandment Christ left for us; “Love one another” (Jn 13:34). When we understand the importance of God’s love in our lives and see it as the ultimate gift we can receive, then its value can only multiply when we share that love with others.
It was a love that knew no bounds when God gave his unmatchable gift of love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3: 16).