It is 5th January 2019. The readings are from 1 John 3:11-21; and the Gospel from John 1:43-51. We all believe in love and wished to be loved. There are examples of love that cannot be ignored in the human history and in the Sacred Sacripture. God created us all with the abundance of love. Where does the hatred and lust come from? Someone other than God infuses, confuses and convinces us with the deeds and thoughts opposing the original and authentic virtue of us to be a loving person. None of us can claim that we have perfected in love. All of us fall short when it comes to loving others. Love is not mere words and waves of emotional outburst. Love needs to be seen in the actions that recognise the image and likeness of God in others. As love and selfishness is at war with each other deep inside of ourselves, so the truth against the life of lies. We all need to guide and shape our consciences so that we are led by the truth and the truth will give all the leverage to love the other person. Loving people is itself a sacrifice and worship that pleases God. St. John strengthens the threads and fabric of love by pointing out that the deed of Cain who killed his brother is completely opposed to love. When others are doing the best for God and the Church, how do we feel inside? Are feeling angry, jealous, and hatred towards the others as that of Cain? Anyone hates the other person is a murderer. Bitterness against another person is like a cancer that kills the person gradually and blunts the conscience to do the evil things against the other. It is not enough that we admire those who do the right thing for God rather we need to show in our own lives those selfless, and loving actions toward the other. The principle of love that St. John teaches us today in the passage shapes our consciences to love God by showing the needed affection and sacrifice towards the other. How much altruistic our actions are towards the other in using our money, time, and resources for the welfare of the other? As a Catholic, we have not done enough in loving others as Christ expects us to be. Our consciences will question us and make us feel guilty when we are selfish and secretly sinful. Even after loving the other to the best of our ability, the conscience would still tickle us with guilt. Whenever we are interrogated by the gnawing accusations of the voice of our own consciences, we need to check our motives and actions. God’s voice is mightier than the vibrations of the vices in us. If Christ is the motive and reason for our love, nothing can condemn us. “If we are in Christ, he will not condemn us.” (Rom.8:1). When we have clear consciences, we have no reason to fear and we have the needed confidence to be heard in our prayers. “Our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active; that we are children of the truth and be able to question our conscience in his presence…, because God is greater than our conscience and God knows everything.” (1 Jn.3:20). The responsorial Psalm praises, “Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.” (Ps.99:1). We are all invited as believers to share the love of Christ with the one another. In the Gospel, Jesus expresses the desire to all of us to follow Him as He invited Philip to do so. Our love for Christ needs to be shared with as many as possible to bring many closer to Christ. How many persons have we led them to Christ so far? It is good to start with our family members who are far from the love of Christ. In order to do that action of love, we need to meet Christ and experience Him personally. Our bookish, theological, philosophical, ethical, sociological, and cosmological enquires and researches are not sufficient to encounter Christ. It is not what we teach others about Christ that matters for our happiness and salvation rather what have we learned from Christ on a daily basis and what is the impact of such learning doing to us in relating and loving the other person as they are to enjoy the blessings that Jesus offers. As the Christmas times comes to an end, let our love for the other expand and explode to every nook and corner of our circles of relationships. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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