Love Is The Answer

Tradition tells us that St. John the Apostle lived to a very old age among the church he founded at Ephesus. In his dotage, he grew so frail that he had to be carried into worship, and lowered gently into a seat of honor. Then the assembled congregation would beg their bishop:

“Please, tell of us of the mighty things you have witnessed, the great deeds of power and glory, stories of the Lord and his apostles you saw with your own eyes.”

And John replied:

“Little children, love one another.”

They persisted, saying:

“Teacher, please, preach the Word to us, transform us and dazzle us, say great things to us.”

And John replied:

“Little children, love one another.”

Just as the years had boiled down the body of this Son of Thunder to pure bone and skin, so had they reduced everything he had seen, everything revealed to him-the Transfiguration, the Resurrection-down to this one thing. It was all he would say. It was all he had to say.

And so the community that looked to John put in a letter:

“Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that 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 expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

(1 John 4:7-12)

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