Pope's Morning Homily: 'True Love is Not Like a Soap Opera'

Reflects on Loving God and Neighbor During Morning Mass

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“God is love! And only through the path of love can you know God.” These were the words of Pope Francis during his homily at Casa Santa Marta this morning.

According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father began his homily reflecting on today’s reading from John’s 1st Letter. If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen,” the reading states.

To know God through reason and intellect, he stressed, is insufficient. “Only through the path of love  can you know God,” he exclaimed.

“But how can I love someone I don’t know? Love the one close to you. And this is the doctrine of the two Commandments: The most important is to love God, because He is love. The second is to love your neighbor, but to arrive at the first we must climb the steps of the second. That is, through love of neighbor we come to know God, who is love.”

The 78 year old Pontiff reflected on the importance of knowing God through love. However, he clarified that true love is not like a “soap opera” but rather something powerful that is “manifested”. The Christmas season, he stressed, is characterized by the word “manifestation”, through which Jesus who “came to save us.”

“[It was God] who loved us and sent his Son as a victim of expiation for our sins. In the person of Jesus, we can contemplate the love of God,” he said. Following Christ’s example, he continued, «we arrive – step by step – to the love of God, to the knowledge of God who is love.”

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis explained to the faithful that “the love of God is always waiting for us, always surprising us.” This love, he said, is shown through the mercy and forgiveness of God, who forgives “not just once, but 70 times 7.”

“To know this God who is love, we must climb up the steps of love for neighbor, of works of charity, of the works of mercy that the Lord has taught us,” he said. “May the Lord, in these days in which the Church makes us reflect on the manifestation of God, give us the grace to know Him through the path of love.”

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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