COR THOUGHTS 254: Our Bodies Tell the Story of Receiving and Giving Divine Love


In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims the new commandment of love: “love one another as I have loved you.” If we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that on our own we don’t have the power to love in this way – that is, in a totally selfless, sacrificial, divine way. We must first receive this love deeply into ourselves if we are to share it with others (we can’t give what we don’t have). As we read in the first reading, “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he [first] loved us.” This is why in the spousal analogy God is always the Bridegroom and humanity is always the Bride. It can’t be the other way around. The bride is designed to receive the gift of the bridegroom. This is not only biology; it’s theology – theology of the body! Our bodies tell the story that we are to love “as Christ loves” and that we can only do so by first receiving that love. Hence, before Christ gives us his new commandment to love as he loves, he first invites us: “Remain in my love …. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” Marital love and union also speaks to this joy. Jesus, teach us how to receive your love so that we might share it with others!