–– Sito di FORMAZIONE PERMANENTE MISSIONARIA –– Uno sguardo missionario sulla Vita, il Mondo e la Chiesa A missionary look on the life of the world and the church –– VIDA y MISIÓN – VIE et MISSION – VIDA e MISSÃO ––
“God is love,” Scripture says, “and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him or her.”
Too often, we miss what that means because we tend to romanticize love. We’ve all heard this passage read at weddings; appropriate surely, but, within that circumstance, all too misunderstood for it is pictured as romantic love, as falling-in-love, wonderful and holy though this may be.
That text might best be rendered this way: “God is community, family, parish, friendship, hospitality and whoever abides in these abides in God and God abides in him or her.” God is a trinity, a flow of relationships among persons.
If this is true, and Scripture assures us that it is, then the realities of dealing with each other in community, at the dinner table, over a bottle of wine or an argument, not to mention the simple giving and receiving of hospitality are not a pure, secular experiences but the stuff of church, the place where the life of God flows through us.
By definition, God is ineffable, beyond imagination and beyond language, even the best language of theology and church dogma. God can never be understood or captured adequately in any formula. But God can be known, experienced, tasted, and related to in love and friendship.
God is a flow of relationships to be experienced in community, family, parish, friendship, and hospitality. When we live inside of these relationships, God lives inside of us and we live inside of God. Scripture assures us that we abide in God whenever we stay inside of family, community, parish, friendship, hospitality – and, yes, even when we fall in love.
The most pernicious heresies that block us from properly knowing God are not those of formal dogma, but those of a culture of individualism that invite us to believe that we are self-sufficient, that we can have community and family on our own terms, and that we can have God without dealing with each other. But God is community – and only in opening our lives in gracious hospitality will we ever understand that.
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