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The supreme desire of most people generally refers to ‘meaningful love’ that is deep and close connection with another human being— a child, a friend, a lover, a parent, or a sibling. Though all humans are equal yet all loves are not. And if ‘meaningful love,’ which human beings desire above all things, then it should be given, received and passed on without conditions, a creaturely field of love. What meant by meaningful love is not primarily a feeling for someone whom we confess that ‘I fell in love with you’ or falling to one’s knee and proposing that ‘I love you.’ Love is an unclear concept these days as many are fixated on romantic love which has 90 percent of young people hoping for, but often failing to find a unique soul mate who can satisfy all their emotional needs. Choosing what to love and how to love with the mere feeling of emotional needs or attraction, does not bring any depth in loving relationship for lasting effect unless it is experienced with the commitment to beneficence. The meaning of life is in and tolove even if one is ‘unbeloved and unloved’. Therefore, the prime motivation for love and the model of love are equally important to grasp and experience ‘LOVE.’

The primary source of motivation for love is God because love is from God. The very nature of God is ‘Love.’ God loves, therefore God gives and when God gives ‘love’ to human beings, God doesn’t give merely something God has but something God is. Love is what God is. Therefore, what will remain forever in this world or the world next to come is ‘Love’.The word love’ in Hebrew is ‘AHAVAH’ and in Aramaic, ‘RAKHMAH’ used especially in the Bible of the Old Testament and being translated by evangelists of the New Testament into Greek word as ‘AGAPE’. There are seven ‘loves’ known to the Greek world. They are ‘Storge’– familial love, ‘Eros’– sexual passionate love, ‘Philia’– deep friendship love, ‘Ludus’– playful love, ‘Pragma’– longstanding love, ‘Philautia’ self love and ‘Agape’universal love. The New Testament evangelists interpreted and redefined the word “AGAPE” as love: both universal (catholic) and unconditional.” AGAPE was later translated into Latin as ‘CARITAS’, which is the origin of word ‘CHARITY’, reflects the meaning of ‘love’ described by St.Paul in 1Corinthians 13. Consequently, if the primary motivation of love is God then who is the model of love to be followed up?

St. John, the beloved disciple writes in his letter that this is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son – Jesus, a perfect model of love, into the world that we might follow and live through him’ (1John 4:9). Jesus, our Lord and Master, has set the right understanding of God’s unconditional love- ‘AGAPE’ through his teachings, life, death and resurrection. Jesus was constantly helping and serving the people around him in a very practical and tangible way. He consistently moved towards poor and hurting people who could not benefit him in return. He showed love for forgotten and lost ones like lepers, blinds, paralytic, demon-possessed people,paralyzed, deaf and dumb, Syrophoenician woman, Samaritan woman, widow’s dead son, crowds and many people who usually were unnoticed and disrespected. He committed to his mission of love- others’ focused self giving love. Jesus made himself an enemy of the leaders of his people by not following traditions of his religious leaders as he considered them hypocrisy, corruption and insensitive to needy people. Therefore, they plotted to crucify him. Though He was nailed on the cross for the selfishness in corruption of his enemies yet He loved and forgave his opponents; even accepted Judas’ betrayalwithout any reaction and revenge. For Jesus, love is an action; a deliberate choice that you make to seek the well being of humans other than yourself. Hence, ‘Love should be ‘GENUINE and AUTHENTIC. And if Christian faith is all about love, then, how should Christians love?

Jesus says to his disciples, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). The measure of our love for God is expressed only by our love for people and vice versa. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. For Jesus, Genuine Love for God and others consists in seeking people’s well being without expecting anything in return especially from the people who are in difficult situations such as poor, captives, oppressed, isolated, lonely, orphans, old aged, downtrodden, helpless, abused, deprived and sick; who cannotrepay you even if they want. According to Jesus, this kind of generous love reflects the very heartbeat of God. Jesus took us even furthermore, he said that the ultimate standard for Authentic Love is how you treat the person that you cannot standfor or go well with. In other words, “you shall love your enemies; do good to them expecting nothing in return; bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you.’ Heanimates us to give more value to ‘love enemies than to harm enemies, ‘doing good’ than blaming, ‘blessing’ than cursing, ‘praying’ than mistreating and ‘involving’ than isolating others.For Jesus this kind of enemy embracing love imitates the very character of God. This naturally brings me to conclusion that loving others genuinely and authentically is a heartbeat and character of Jesus. Therefore, Beloved ones, if that’s how God has loved us so much then we also ought to LOVE one another(1 John 4:11). The purpose of human existence is to receive this love which has come to us in Jesus, then to give back out to others. Therefore, it is a catholic divine call to create an echosystem of others focused self-giving love. And that’s the New Testament meaning of LOVE.






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