The First Letter of John, which we read this Sunday, says simply: “No one has ever seen God.” It’s true. God is beyond what our eyes can see and our minds take in. God, the creator of heaven and earth, is everywhere. “In him we live and move and have our being.” But our eyes are too weak to see him; our minds too small to know him. We only know God in our limited way.
But we can know God, John reminds us. We know God by love, particularly by loving one another.
“If we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us…
God is love, and whoever remains in love
remains in God and God in him.” (1 John 4, 11-16)
God is love and his love remains in us. The first place God’s love is seen is the world we live in. God’s love is in the air we breathe, the lives we enjoy, the friends, the families, the wives, the husbands, the children, the good things of the earth we’ve been given.
God is love, his love remains; it continues, and we thank God for a love so wonderfully faithful.
The greatest gift of God, the crowning sign of his love, is Jesus Christ, his Son and our Lord. As the Word of God, he’s also beyond what our eyes can see and our minds know. But the Word was made flesh and entered our world and became like us. Conceived in the womb of Mary, his mother, he was born and grew in wisdom and grace, at a certain time and place, like us. We have seen him.
He took the path we humans take, from birth to death. In a unique way, he knew our sorrows, our sufferings, our weakness and our pains. He knows our sinfulness.
His love remains. We can hear his faithful love expressed in today’s gospel. As Jesus raises his eyes to heaven, he prays for us; he guards us, he promises to lead us to where he is. Weak as we are, unsteady as our love is, sinful as those whom he ate with the night before he died, he remains with us.