Saturday, December 31, 2011

Human mediation to loving God

It is not enough to say that love of God is inseparable from the love of one's neighbor.  It must be added that love for God is unavoidably expressed through love of one's neighbor.  Moreover, God is loved in the neighbor:  "But if a man says, 'I love God,' while hating his brother, he is a liar.  If he does not love the brother whom he has seen, it cannot be that he loves God whom he has not seen" (1 John 4:20).  To love one's brother, to love all persons, is a necessary and indispensable mediation of the love of God; it is to love God:  "You did it for me, . . .you did not do it for me." 

We find the Lord in our encounters with others, especially the poor, marginated, and exploited ones.  An act of love towards them is an act of love towards God.  This is why Congar speaks of "the sacrament of our neighbor," who as a visible reality reveals to us and allows us to welcome the Lord:  "But there is one thing that is privileged to be a paradoxical sign of God, in relation to which men are able to manifest their deepest commitment--our Neighbor.  The sacrament of our Neighbor!" (pages 114, 115)
Gustavo Gutierrez
 A Theology of Liberation

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