Not That We Have Loved God, But That He Loved Us

In today’s first Mass reading, which comes from the first Letter of St. John, we hear of a beautiful expression of God’s incredible love for us. We are exhorted to love one another because we are already loved by God, by the God who is love. And in the midst of John’s statement of the revelation of God’s love through the Incarnation is a very important reminder for us. It is not that we love God and are loved in return. Rather, God loved us first. “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us.”

This is a truth we need to internalize deeply: God loved us first. God’s love is always there; it is the very ground of our existence. We don’t need to earn it so I can do nothing to gain any more of God’s love than I already possess. And there is nothing I can do to lose that love. God’s love is based on nothing and, therefore, is the most secure and basic fact on our lives.

Sadly, many people have, some where along the way, picked up the message that they are inadequate, not worthy of being loved. So they struggle, thinking the need to do something to justify being loved.

May we all pray for a deepening of our realization of God’s love. And may we grow in our security that we can never lose that love.