Love Is not a Game

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Come and See 55
Exodus 34: 4b-6,8-9
2 Cor 13: 11-13
Jn 3: 16 -18


Many years ago, a rich widow who lived in New York City died. In her Last Will and Testament she left all of her considerable estate to God. Her strange bequest gave rise to legal entanglements. In order to settle the estate, the lawyers in the case made doubly sure that all the proper procedures were followed to the letter. They prepared a law suit which named God as one of the parties. A summons was issued requiring God to file a legal response. The summons was delivered to the sheriff, whose responsibility it was to serve such papers. When the sheriff’s final report was delivered to the court, it read, “After due and diligent search, it has been determined that God cannot be found in New York City.”[1]

Love is not a game; it is a commitment to live and die for one another.

* * *

Where is God, in New York or in Vatican? Without a doubt, what we know about God is from God Himself who has revealed Himself to us, not from human knowledge. That is the fundamental teaching of the Bible. The Bible is the story of how God has made himself known to humankind. What humankind understands about God is very limited. Indeed, only God can adequately speak of God; we very limitedly speak of God. Humankind understands about God because God takes the initiative to approach to whomever He wants. Why I was baptized in Catholic faith but not others, and why I know Him but not my friends, etc. are not easy to find an answer. For us, God remains unknowable, mysterious and unsearchable. His name “Yahweh” reveals how mysterious He is.

“God does not prove himself, but He shows himself.”[2] God shows Himself as the Most-High who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity” (Ex 34:6). Therefore we can’t define who God is in a concrete meaning, but we can approach Him through the historical Man, namely Jesus who is truly God and truly man. In Christ, the One God of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit was revealed in the Paschal Mystery. Three divine Persons live in unity, love, and self-giving.

Self-giving to each other in the Holy Trinity is constantly revealed in the course of salvation history. God commands Abraham to offer Isaac (Gen 22:1-19), his only son to God. When God saw Abraham’s love, God withheld his son; the reward for Abraham’s great love and trust in God was the Promise Land and became the Great Father of God’s people. But for God’s only Son, God did not withhold his only Son; God gave his only Son to the world in order to save the world. God totally emptied Himself without holding any thing back because of love between the Father and the Son. The true love, compassion, and self-giving for humankind show that “God so loved the world that He gave his only Son” (Jn 3:16). In Christ, God ultimately revealed Himself in His infinite love to humankind, “love them to the end” (Jn 13:1).  “Love is not a game…love is life or death, and when God’s love is at issue, it is eternal life or eternal death.”[3]

Love is not a game; it is a commitment to live and die for one another. The feast of the Holy Trinity invites us to do the same.

Br. Huynhquảng


[1] James F. Colaianni Sr., Pulpit humor I (New Jersey: Voicings Pulbications, 2005), 72.
[2] Days of the Lord, Vl. 7 (Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1994), 11.
[3] Ibid, 15.
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