The phrase “love of God” can be understood in two ways:  as God’s love for us or as our love for God.   Our faith invites us to accept a number of consoling truths.  For example:  Our final state is life, not death.  Forgiveness erases sin.  Hope triumphs over despair. Love is stronger than hate.  It is God’s love that is the guarantor of  those truths.

St. John tells us (13:1)  “Jesus, knowing that his hour had come to pass from the world to his Father, having loved those who were his in this world, loved them to the end.”  At that last supper Jesus showed how great his love was.   We believe that God’s love for us is eternal and unchanging but at that particular point in time God gave a special testimony of his love.

God’s love is a mystery.    It is possible, however, to gain some insight into God’s love.   We know from our own experience that it is typical of people to give more explicit signs of their love just before separation. Think of all the classic departure scenes in movies and novels.  Part of the dialog is usually something like this: “Here I want you to have this.”  The unspoken understanding is: “This is to remind you of me.”  That is exactly what Jesus did.  Knowing that he would soon be separated from his followers he gave a clear and special sign of his love.

We know, too, that a lover wants to be with the loved one as much and as closely as possible.  God has found a way to be with us as closely as possible.   He does that in the Eucharist.

God’s love is unchanging.    No matter how sinful I may imagine myself to be, how far I feel I am from God, there is one reality I can count on.  God loves me personally and will never give up on me.

God’s love is unconditional.  Otherwise it would not be true love.  True love is always unconditional.  Love with conditions attached is not true love.  It is, rather, an offering, an exchange..  We limited humans usually attach conditions to the love we give.  Implicitly we say:  I will love you as long as you return my love.  I will love you if you meet my expectations of you.  It is not like that with God.  The only condition is on our part.  We must be open to accepting God’s love.