Deacon Greg Beavin:
Saints Mary & Theresa Catholic Churches
1 John 4:21
“Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” A quick definition of love in the dictionary will likely come up as, “a passionate affection for another person”, which is true of course, but John the Apostle had a deeper understanding of love and that may be why he is many times referred to as “the apostle of love.” John is frequently referred to in scripture as being closest to Jesus and we may even think that Jesus loved him the most. I’m don’t think Jesus played favorites, but he may have felt that John understood what love really is a little better than most; that may be why he was in the so called inner circle of Jesus, along with Peter and James.
His understanding of love was more than just feelings, it was a commitment to friendship when times are tough. That’s why John stood by Jesus at Gethsemane in his time of distress, appeared at Jesus’s trial at the palace of the high priest, and was the only male disciple at the foot of the cross. It was John’s way of showing us what true love really is, and if we say we love God than we have to love others when it is not easy, convenient, or safe, just like the apostle John loved Jesus.
“Lord if you wish, you can make me clean”. In Luke’s Gospel there is a story of a man who was dying of the terrible flesh eating disease of Leprosy. This man encountered Jesus one day and fully recognized that Jesus had the power to heal him; he did not beg, he did not demand, he did not try to bargain his way our of his illness with future promises, he simply expressed his faith in the saving power of Jesus. Jesus replied, “I do will it. Be made clean.”
The man in this story is nameless, offering the opportunity for each of us to insert our names; and we should daily. We all have illnesses to some degree and we too can recognize that through our faith, we can be healed as well.