Love is the concrete actions that must be manifested in the name of Jesus
Have you ever pondered what motivates those early disciples of Jesus? They go everywhere, they accept martyrdom. Have you ever wondered why and how heavenly Jerusalem could be possible? We have an answer today in our gospel reading. Our Lord Jesus once again reminds them that they have only one, one commandment. The commandment makes union of life and heaven possible. Love one another. We just don't love one another the way in which we see fit. That we're going to love one another the way in which our Lord Jesus has loved us. And that is hard, that is difficult, that is not easy. However, my dear brothers and sisters, if we understand how beautiful love is, and what makes it so powerful, we perhaps wanted to do the same. I want to give you a couple of examples in my personal priestly life, and also witnessing others demonstrating the love of God and love of neighbor in such a way that makes heaven possible for those who are being touched by that love.
At the beginning of the pandemic, people were locked in and many elderly could not get out. I saw it over there in the old parish that I served, here in this community as well, we would have people pack the food, and drive around, and drop off food at the door of certain members of our community. And for me that is love. Love makes us feel the need to step out of our comfort zone, risking our own life in serving others. I also witnessed a member of our community overhearing a conversation between a sales clerk and a mother looking for 'formula one'. You know 'formula one', a big shortage today. She couldn't find it anywhere, crying because her two children would not have milk. And yet this mother stepped out of her way, asked for a number so that she could reach out to other stores, and finally, got formulas for her. Upon picking up the phone, having good news, she was crying so hard, appreciating the act of kindness and love. For me that is love. Love that goes out of its way to reach out to those we don't even know, and care for that person. Or here in our community, we have a few members of our community coming together, every week, every week, packing about 60 bags or so dry food. On every Wednesday, they would drive around here in Fremont locally. Sometimes at a train station, or nearby BART area, or just in the parks, where homeless people are, they pitch their camp. 60 bags of food, they faithfully deliver and hundreds of people benefit from it. And I call it love. Love allows one to reach out to the other person, knowing not their history, the reason why they are on the street, but yet care unconditionally. I also see members of our community, who want to offer support to those who are sick and trapped at home. We have a group of parishioners, faithfully, every week bring Holy Communion to those shut in. to nursing homes, to our members of the community who could not go here to attend church, and yet receive Holy Communion. We call that love. Love inspires them to reach out and care for those brothers and sisters, who could not be here physically.
So my dear brothers and sisters, I share with you those examples of love because our Lord Jesus, when he speaks of love, he speaks specifically about concrete actions that must be manifested in the name of Jesus, in the name of God. If we say I love God, and do not care about our neighbors, we are liars. Saint John told us that we say we love one another, and yet we go around telling falsehoods, gossiping rumors, and hurting one another. It is not love. if we say we love God, and we don't do anything practically, or get our hands dirty, because we love one another. Then, we do not really love at all. We are telling one thing and doing another.
Our Lord Jesus, when he loves, when he loves, he loves in such a way that you and I could feel it. Just ask, just ask Matthew, the man who cheated for living touched by the love of Jesus invited him to follow Jesus, to follow him. Just ask Peter, the one who denied Jesus, and felt the love of Jesus in such a way that he converted completely his entire life, submitting himself to the mission of Christ. After being asked three times, Peter, do you love me? Peter, do you love me? Peter, do you truly love me? Feed my flock, give your life away, serve your brothers and sisters, and strengthen them in the faith. As the woman caught in adultery, the love of Jesus, felt by his forgiveness. As the prodigal son, walk away and return the love of the father. His forgiveness and his acceptance make his new life with God possible. As all those who are hungry, searching for food, and our Lord Jesus multiplied bread and fish, and he fed them. The hungry, the thirsty, the sorrowful, the sinner, all those people who encountered Jesus, get in touch with divine love. Our Lord Jesus did not preach on the mountaintop alone, he walked down on the valleys of suffering and pain, he traveled everywhere, he entered homes, he encountered people where they are and he converted them, because of his love and forgiveness.
So my brothers and sisters, we could do an amazing thing together as a community. No one on this planet earth could love the way Jesus loved without being part of his family, without having the spirit of love within us. The same spirit that drives all those early apostles to imitate Christ in everything even died for Christ. Without the same spirit of love, there won't be heavenly Jerusalem. because my brothers and sisters, the same love that unites the father and the son, the same love that unites the church in Christ, is the same spirit of love that exists within us. We have that power; we have given that ability, we have been given this tremendous power to love. to unite, to purify, to sanctify, and therefore to experience heavenly life. Let's love together. We, as a community, have plenty of ways to love one another, to show our love for others as well. Let's be part of the pastoral care, let's be part of the refugee team, let's be part of the pastoral care team, and be part of ministries. Saint Vincent De Paul, homeless ministry, whatever ministries that we have here in our community. All the ministries are designed to imitate Christ in the acts of love and mercy. Don't waste our energy on lesser stuff on TV, TikTok, or any other media platforms. Let's spend our time for one another in carrying out the love of God.
May God bless us all with that courage, may God bless us all with that determination. So that we could all imitate him. Because there's only one commandment that matters: love God above all things, and love one another as Christ has loved us.
你們是否想過為什麼早期的門徒會不辭辛苦，千山萬水的去傳福音，甚至犧牲生命。你們是否想過憑什麼我們可以在天國裡享受永生？這個問題在我們今天的福音中有答案。 主耶穌繼續提醒他的門徒，有一條誡命可以讓我們在天堂中享受永生。 那就是彼此相愛。 但不是以我們自己認可的方式來相愛，我們必須照主耶穌愛我們的方式來彼此相愛。 這是個很高的要求，並不容易達成。 但如果我們了解基督的愛是多麼的美好而強大，我們就會嘗試去實踐它。 讓我以司祭生活的經驗，舉幾個例子來見證以基督的愛，來愛天主和近人，是如何的讓那些被這種愛感動的人體驗到天國。
疫情初期，很多人被迫待在家裡，高風險的老人更是被鎖在家裡。我上一個服務的堂區和 St Joseph 堂區，就有很多教友們打包了食物，將這食物送到社區有需要的人家門口來服務他們。這就是基督的愛。基督的愛讓我們走出去，冒著受感染的危險為人服務。 我還目睹一位教友無意中聽到了一位銷售員和尋找嬰兒奶粉媽媽的對話。最近嬰兒奶粉缺貨。這位媽媽的兩個孩子奶粉吃完了買不到奶粉，急的哭了出來。這位教友就向媽媽要了電話號碼，為她找嬰兒奶粉。最後她終於找到了奶粉。當這位媽媽聽到找到奶粉的好消息，痛哭的感激這份善意和愛心。這就是基督的愛。愛就是盡力地去接觸並關心周圍的人們。
我們的堂區有些教友每週三打包 60 袋的乾糧。在 Fremont 開車尋找無家可歸者。在BART的附近，公園裡，路邊，在他們可能安營扎寨的地方，將食物分給他們。有數百人從中受益。基督的愛。讓我們關心飢餓的人，不評斷他們的過去，不記較他們淪落在街上的原因，無條件地關心他們。 我們有一群教友每週忠實地為生病和被困在家中的人服務。他們將聖體帶給那些住在療養院的人，臥病在家，以及交通不便的人。這就是基督的愛。愛激勵我們伸出援手，服務那些無法到教堂親領聖體的兄弟姐妹。
親愛的兄弟姐妹們，我與你們分享這些愛的例子，因為我們的主耶穌特別要求我們必需奉耶穌的名，用具體的行動來彰顯基督的愛。 如果我們說我愛天主，卻不關心我們的鄰居，我們就是騙子。 聖若望告訴我們，如果我們說彼此相愛，卻四處散佈謊言，製造謠言，互相傷害，這不是愛。 如果我們說愛天主，但卻沒有行為來證明，我們就沒有真正的愛。因為我們言語和行為相互矛盾。
兄弟姐妹們，我們可以為這個社區做些精彩的事。 耶穌的愛超越所有的愛，所以我們必須要成為耶穌的門徒，來效法耶穌的愛。耶穌的愛驅使著早期的宗徒，他們事事效法基督，甚至為愛基督而死。沒有這樣的愛，就不會有天上的耶路撒冷。基督的愛把聖父和聖子聯合在一起，把基督和教會聯合在一起。我們已被賦予這種愛的能力及力量。藉著愛的巨大力量，我們可以團結，淨化，聖化，來體驗彼此相愛的天堂。讓我們一起愛吧。在這堂區，我們有很多方式來表達我們的關愛。讓我們成為堂區關懷團隊的一員，成為事工的一員。參加難民團隊，參加聖文森保祿的一員，成為服務無家可歸者的事工。所有的事工都是在效法基督的愛和憐憫。不要呆在家裡浪費時間。 不要把精力浪费在电视、TikTok 或任何其他媒体平台上。讓我們模仿耶穌，花時間分享天主的愛。願天主以愛的勇氣和決心保佑我們所有的人。 切記，重要的誡命只有一條：愛天主於萬有之上，我們要像基督愛我們一樣彼此相愛。