One of us: a personal love relationship with God

God’s love, according to Dr. Pia Somer must show herself in real life, in fact, in keeping the wills. However, the assimilation of Jesus does not only occur through purely external transcription – if we truly love God, we spend time with Him.

Dr. Pia Sommer, Eichstat

6 Easter Sunday

John 14:23-29

Have you ever encountered this? If you love or love someone, it is not difficult to do something for the beloved or take away from something. Suddenly it becomes easy to lose weight or exercise, get up early to do something with your loved one, or spend hours doing something your loved one enjoys.

Sunday with Pia Sommer (May 22, 2022)

You are interested in what your loved one finds interesting, yes, you feel the power, as the saying goes, to take the stars from the sky for your loved one. Love makes the impossible possible and conquers almost everything. W: She gladly accepts the efforts involved. It can and should be the same as God’s love. But unfortunately, in this area in particular, we see some things more as a duty or routine that should not be questioned. Perhaps we don’t often realize that, especially in the spiritual realm, it can also be about love, about a personal love affair.

What is the motive behind our religious actions?

Today the Bible asks us what drives our religious actions and what the love of Jesus Christ is for us. Jesus explains how he shows love to him: “He who loves me keeps my word,” says today’s Gospel. It is interesting that Jesus spoke of it twice in similar words. There he calls the keeping of the commandments as a sign of his love: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15, 21). In the case of Jesus, too, it is not enough to assure him in our prayers that we love him, as we often and sometimes thoughtlessly do. God’s love for Jesus is also manifested in concrete life, in fact, in keeping the commandments and sticking to his word.

Imitate Jesus’ directions and ways of life

However, in the above passages, it is not about keeping individual commandments or abiding by certain words, but primarily about respecting, preserving and even imitating Jesus’ attitudes and way of life. Expressing love for Jesus is compatibility with Him. And this again is like a human lover: with some spouses or even with people who spend a lot of time together, you notice that they unconsciously adopt each other’s expressions and gestures, that they share the same opinions, and that they gradually adapt to each other without much effort.

“At the beginning of being a Christian, at the beginning of the spiritual life, there is a personal encounter with a person, with Jesus Christ.”

The assimilation of Jesus also does not occur in purely external copies of his activities. If we truly love Jesus, we spend time with Him, then look at His inner attitudes and way of life, and thus gradually internally resemble Him. This is what distinguishes Christianity. Christianity is not a biblical religion as one often hears. It is not a cold belief system or a list of different moral rules to follow in becoming a Christian. At the beginning of being a Christian, at the beginning of the spiritual life, there is a personal encounter with a person, with Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word, and then Pope Benedict XVI. Pointed over and over. So it is not the observance of certain laws or moral concepts, which are undoubtedly important and also justified, that is the determining factor for us as Christians. The basis, the motive behind our spiritual work, is the love of Christ and not externally imposed laws which we often perceive as limitations we try to circumvent when we think we are not watching.

Thankful for our existence and salvation?

And here it is very useful to take into account the various impulses of our spiritual life. Is it actually love and trust in God, gratitude for my existence, and salvation that drives me to align my life with God? Or is it the feeling and fear of having to do something for eternal salvation, to earn it, so to speak. Or is our relationship with God a habit, a routine, some kind of tradition that you do because it’s the right thing to do? We may find in our hearts a little of everything. But this knowledge can help us to make the love of Christ grow in us more and more and make it the basis and motivation of our spiritual life.

Jesus promised

Now let’s change perspective. So far we have seen how you demonstrate our love for Jesus: by keeping the commandments, by keeping His word, and by lovingly clinging to Him. In the following verses, Jesus tells us how He shows God’s love for us and how valuable our love is in God’s eyes. “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word; my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (verse 23). Jesus promises us the Father’s love and God’s dwelling in us as a reward for our love for Him. In these words of Jesus, the Old Testament promise of God’s dwelling among his people was fulfilled to an incredible extent: in the Old Testament, God’s presence and dwelling among people appeared especially in the Ark of the Covenant.

“The image of heaven: that God enters it, dwells with God, and is in God.”

After the temple was built, the Ark of the Covenant was kept in the Holy of Holies, and only the high priest was allowed to enter it once a year. In the second reading of the Book of Revelation, the image of God’s dwelling place among men is captured, albeit in a completely different way: in a vision, John sees the gloriously decorated holy city of Jerusalem descending from heaven. There is no temple there. The sun and moon are also unnecessary because the glory of God prevails and lights the whole city. This is the image of heaven: that God penetrates it, dwells with God, and is in God.

The reward of our love

And this is exactly what Jesus promised us here as a reward for our love for him: “We will come and dwell with him.” God now wants to reside in us humans so that man himself becomes the ark of the covenant and the temple of God. The Beloved loves to be with the Beloved, and so God’s deep longing is to be with us now. This thought should send chills down my spine when we think about who God is and who we are. Personally, it has always helped me a perhaps somewhat unusual comparison made by the Spanish Church teacher John Avila, a 16th century priest, illustrating God’s love for us.

Living with a small worm?

John Avila wrote that God’s love for us humans is crazier than falling in love with a little worm. Human love for a little worm is an incomprehensible and ridiculous idea for us humans. Who would want to live with this little worm out of love for a tiny worm? However, the distance between us and God is much greater than the distance between a human and a small worm.

“The Great Leo: Do ​​not chase the supreme guest with your sins”

God’s dwelling in us has become a reality in baptism. We have become a temple to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The great Leo reminds us: “Oh Christ, confess your dignity!” And he warns us: “You have become partakers of the divine nature, do not return to the old misery and do not live without your dignity … Do not turn away in your sins from the supreme guest who resided in you . . . “St. It is said that Leonidas, a soldier in the army of Alexandria, always went first to the cradle of his newly adopted son – he was Origen – when he returned home, and respectfully kissed his chest, thus worshiping the Holy Spirit who was his temple. . “

Teresa Avila: The soul is like a crystal

St. Teresa of Avila sums up this secret in her famous book “Castle of the Soul” or “Inner Castle” in a beautiful picture. He compares the soul with an infinitely beautiful palace, made of a single diamond or very pure crystal, in which there are many rooms, and in the heart of which dwells God Himself. And the great church teacher continues, “If I had known then that such a great king lives in my little soul palace, I don’t think I would have left him alone so much.” When Augustine wrote in his Confessions: “You have been in me, Lord, hidden in my soul, but I have not found you. I have searched for you outside, and the beauty of your creatures has been blinded.” Perhaps God’s dwelling in us is one of the deepest secrets of our faith, which, unfortunately, we do not think much about. . Perhaps today’s gospel would be an occasion to realize this divine presence in us and to stay with the divine guest more often?

“The Holy Spirit, the divine life force, makes us good to God.”

Jesus’ following promise is closely related to the mystery of God’s dwelling in our hearts: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and remind you of all that I have said to you.” (verse 26) The Holy Spirit, the Helper, is the great gift we receive. As the fruit of redemption: The Holy Spirit is the divine life, love itself, which first enables us human beings to be in it. Enter into fellowship with God. The Holy Spirit, the divine life force, makes us good to God. Thus the Son and the Father are present in us only through and in the Holy Spirit.

A new mode of divine existence

Before his death and resurrection, Jesus was present with his disciples in his bodily but limited form, and now a new way of divine presence is emerging with us humans: in the Holy Spirit we have been given a Divine Helper who never leaves us and is always with us, to whom we can always turn for advice and who lights our way. . If we pay attention to this divine guest in us, he will not only teach us everything, but also give us the ability to act on it. With such a guest and guardian in our hearts, we need not be afraid of anything, no matter what happens outside. We can let the words of Jesus speak to us: “The peace that I give you” – “Do not let your heart be troubled.” Because if God carries us in us, what else can happen to us?
(Vatican Radio – Editor Claudia Kaminsky)

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