He is not wise to me who is wise in words only, but he who is wise in deeds. - St. Gregory: (Pope Saint Gregory I, also known as the Great, was the Pope of the Catholic Church between 590 and 604 AD.)
Scripture text: (1 JN 3:11-21)
This is the message you have heard from the beginning:
we should love one another,
unlike Cain who belonged to the Evil One
and slaughtered his brother.
Why did he slaughter him?
Because his own works were evil,
and those of his brother righteous.
Do not be amazed, then, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
We know that we have passed from death to life
because we love our brothers.
Whoever does not love remains in death.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.
The way we came to know love
was that he laid down his life for us;
so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
If someone who has worldly means
sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion,
how can the love of God remain in him?
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.
Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God.
In the first reading from Mass today St. John looks at honesty from a different angle. He faces the problem of pretending to love. Pretending is by definition dishonest. Whether I say to someone who asks, “How are you today?” “I’m fine” when I’m not, or whether I act loving to a person’s face and gossip about or devalue that same person an hour later, or whether I say I love but do not act in a loving way—John is talking to us all today!
John contrasts Christian love with the “love” of the world. “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers.” He defines love then in concrete terms. To him it’s simple: follow Jesus example “The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.”
To love is to will the good of the other “in deed and truth.” That willing the good may be sharing some food with someone who is hungry.