Reading Augustine’s Homilies on the First Epistle of John, I get a strong sense of the love he has for the congregation at Hippo. In the fifth homily on 1 John 3:9-18 he explains at length how the one commandment we have as Christians is to love one another. Then he makes the following statement which I found startling when I first read it:
You may say to me, I have not seen God: can you say to me, I have not seen human beings? Love your brother and sister. For if you love your brother and sister whom you see, at the same time you shall see God also; because you shall see Love itself, and within dwells God. (adapted)
As I have pondered this statement, I have been drawn to noticing how I show love those around me, and how they in turn show love me. I have realized how feeble my love is, and how harshly I criticize myself. Yet I have sought to act kindly and look with love on those around me, believing that these small, everyday connections also connect me to the loving heartbeat of God. May you, in the small acts of loving kindness you experience and give this week, be aware of seeing and hearing in them the loving heartbeat of God for you.
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash
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