What would be your answer? ‘Because he is not Jesus.’ Simple, isn’t it? But also tragic, isn’t it?
You may know the book Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The main character, the little prince, at some stage meets a fox with which he wants to play. However the fox explains that first he needs to be tamed. ‘It is an act too often neglected’ said the fox ‘it means to establish ties.’
My Dear Sisters and Brothers! In the Gospel Jesus says: ‘I call you friends because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father.’ How close ties Jesus Christ has established with us! They are so close that we may grow used to them. They are so close that we may not be moved by them anymore.
The movie From a Far Country captured that tragedy when the mystery of Jesus’ suffering and death presented in the Good Friday Passion play meant everything to the little boy and meant very little to the man who actually played Jesus. It is a wake-up call for us. We are so often and so close to the great mysteries of our Salvation that we may become immune to them. We may even loose a sense of how precious they are. We may become like that OP shop attendant who sold a thousand dollar bike of a visiting customer for 20 dollars.
St John the Apostle in his letter wrote: ‘This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.’ It is neither about some abstract love nor some nice feeling. John wrote about God.
Some time ago in the CBD I was approached by two young men in white shirts and black ties who wanted to talk to me about God. When they found out that I was a Catholic they focused on one thing which they said the Catholics got totally wrong about God. Do you know what it was? The Trinity. They asked me to show them that the Bible speaks about the Trinity. What I showed them was the passage from the Letter of St John we have just heard: ‘God is love.’
A contemporary Catholic writer Petr Kreeft put it in this way: ‘If God is not a Trinity, God is not love. For love requires three things: a lover, a beloved and a relationship between them. If God were only one person, he could be a lover but not love itself.’
When we say God is the Trinity it is exactly what St John wrote: ‘God is love.’ We don’t simply say that God loves or that God has got love. We profess with trust that ‘God is love.’ We can profess it because we continue looking at the Crucified Lord.
St Augustin observing human relationship wrote: ‘When you see charity (the selfless love), you see the Trinity.’ How much more of the Trinity, we can see in the suffering Son of God. His tormented body, every single wound, tells us about the Love which we profess as the Trinity. Let us often recall the death of the Lord so that our vision may become sharper and sharper. Thus we will recognise that God originated charity in acts of selfless love of people around us and be drawn to act with selfless love too.