January 7, 2020

1 Jn 4: 7-10

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

All God’s children

When I studied at the University of Missouri, the “free speech zone” called Speakers Circle was often dominated by street-corner preachers. Their message was simple: believe in Jesus, and you will be saved. Don’t believe in Jesus, and you won’t be saved.

Their message troubled me. As a Catholic, I already believed in Jesus. But at college, I had become friends with people of varying religious beliefs. These were good people — people who loved, and whom I was sure that God loved too.

We all have such people in our lives — people who may not share our Catholic faith, but who nonetheless love. Today John assures us that these people, whether they realize it or not, are children of God. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t evangelize or try to share our faith. It does mean we can trust that God’s got salvation under control. All we need to do is love.

Dan Everson, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Central and Southern Province who currently teaches theology and coordinates community service at Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver.

Prayer

Loving God, you call us all to a relationship with you and with your Son.  May we always draw closer to you in love, and invite others to know you better through our words and deeds.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Troy Bengford