Where does it all
We love, because he first loved us. If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.
Today we celebrate two very wonderful and amazing occasions.
The first is Christina and Nick’s reception of communion. The second is our Church’s Solemnity of Brotherly Love.
These two events could not be more perfectly aligned.
Our love for each other in Jesus’ community – the Holy Church – begins in the perfect unity we find in the Holy Eucharist. Christina and Nick are now part of that communion. Together with us, Christina and Nick are intimately joined with Jesus. We are all made one in His body. Along with us, Christina and Nick will play roles that strengthen the community of faith through mutual love. As St. Peter tells us: As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
God’s grace is received in a most unique and special way in our communion. His body is more than mere food. In receiving Jesus’ body and blood we are pulled into union with Him at each and every moment of His life. We are there at the last supper, receiving His body and blood. We stand at the foot of His cross. We are at the empty tomb. We see Him ascend into heaven – and we are at His second coming. We have total and complete unity with Jesus AND with each other.
Our roles are not to be thought of as something for our own glorification or advancement, but rather for the glorification and advancement of all the people Jesus has called to be His own.
If we are one in His body and blood, if we share in His grace, if we have Jesus with us, then we must exhibit the fruit of this unity. That fruit is brotherly love.
We cannot participate in communion thinking that it is just Jesus and me. We cannot receive thinking that we are just remembering in the sense of recollection.
When we receive Jesus we must do so with the realization that we our bound to God and each other. We have unity with every Christian who receives Jesus anywhere or at any time. We are not alone. We are not just remembering, but are living in the reality of Christ throughout all of eternity.
God loved us first. Living in union with Him, in communion, means we must love each other. His love is the start and our love for each other is full participation in His life.