The Joy of Love

Right from the beginning of human history, we see a God who always wanted to be with the humanity. The book of Genesis describes how the Heavenly Father goes on an evening walk with our first parents (Gen 3: 18). In Israel’s journey from the land of exile to the Promised Land through the desert, the presence of God was with them in the form of the cloud at day and as a pillar of fire at night. In Christ Jesus this love of God for humanity becomes more clear and experiential. Realizing this fact John the evangelist cries out: The word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1: 14). The love of God which was with his people through sings and symbols in the early days becomes visibly manifested in Jesus Christ.

When Jesus knew that it is time for him to go back to His Father, he became aware of the loneliness and uncertainty that his disciples would face in his absence. So, embracing his disciples with love and compassion Jesus says: dear children, I will not leave you desolate. I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever (John 14: 16, 18). As we celebrate the feast of Pentecost, we commemorate the fulfilling of this promise of Jesus by pouring out His Spirit to the disciples who were praying in union with Mother Mary. In the book of Deuteronomy we read: ‘O Lord God, thou hast only begun to show thy servant thy greatness and thy mighty hand; for what God is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as thine? (Deut 4: 7). The feast of Pentecost gives us the assurance that God is always with us in all the walks of our life and he will never leave us abandoned.

The feast of Pentecost reminds us of the richness and the depth of the love of God. Holy Spirit, the promise of Jesus who loved his own in the world to the end (John 13: 1) leads us to the fullness of love. When humanity becomes restless and desperate due to lack of love, the Holy Spirit leads us to the unity of hearts which arises from the abundance of love. Holy Father Pope Francis through the encyclical “The Joy of Love” states that ‘the joy of love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church. Holy Father through this encyclical invites the families to the rich experience of love which should arise from the fullness of the Divine Spirit. In an age where the family relations become complex and fragile, Holy Father emphasizes on the necessity of the families to be rooted in selfless love and sacrifice.

St. Paul reminds us that the first and the most important fruit of the Holy Spirit is ‘Love’ (Gal 5: 22). As we prepare ourselves for the feast of Pentecost thirsting for the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Holy Spirit for the unity and the fullness of love to be showered in our family and society.

Fr Prince Thomas Chakkalayil CST