John Paul II on “God is Love”

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“God is love.” These words are contained in the First Letter of St. John (4:16). They are the keystone of the truth about God. That truth is revealed through numerous words and many events until it reaches the full certainty of faith with the coming of Christ. These words faithfully echo Christ’s statement: “God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him may not die but may have eternal life” (John 3:16). The Church’s faith reaches its peak in this supreme truth: God is love! In Christ’s Cross and Resurrection he revealed himself definitively as love. “So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16). The truth that God is love constitutes the apex of all that has been revealed “by the prophets and in these days by the Son,” as the Letter to the Hebrews states (1:1-2). This truth illumines the whole content of Revelation, and particularly the revealed reality of the creation and of the covenant. Creation manifests the omnipotence of God the Creator. But the exercise of omnipotence is definitively explained by means of love. God created because he could do so. But is omnipotence was guided by wisdom and moved by love. This is the work of creation. Redemption has a more powerful eloquence and offers a more radical demonstration. Love remains as the expression of omnipotence in the face of evil, in the face of sin. Only omnipotent love can draw forth good from evil and new life from sin and death.

– St. John Paul II, Discourse at the Vatican, October 2, 1985

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