In today's Second Reading from the First Letter of St. John, we hear that we are God's children. If we spend some time meditating on these two verses, line by line, we can begin to understand a bit about what that means.
St. John calls his readers “Beloved.” We are his brothers and sisters, fellow children of God, and as such, he loves us with a special kind of love.
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
What is this love? The Greek word for this kind of love is agapē, which was coined by the New Testament writers. It was not used by secular authors nor by Greek-speaking Jewish scholars. Agapē refers to love in its fullest sense, an unconditional, self-giving, and compassionate devotion that God pours out upon us and that He expects us to pour out upon others. Agapē, then, is love that comes directly from God, love that He spreads freely, love that makes us His children.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know Him.
Being God's children is not always easy. The world does not understand the kind of love God's children receive from their Father and give to each other. The world does not understand self-sacrifice or compassion. The world sees weakness instead and scoffs. It persecutes God's children and tries to take advantage of their love. But God's children keep loving anyway, for God keeps on loving the whole world.
Beloved, we are God's children now;
St. John emphasizes our status once again. Even if the world mocks and scorns us, we are God's children. We always have God's love to enjoy and to share.
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like Him,
for we shall see Him as He is.
We have something to look forward to. We don't understand it completely yet. We don't know exactly what we will be like at the end of time when Jesus comes back again. But we do know that we will be like Him. The agapē that we have as children of God, which here on earth is so often frail and incomplete, will be perfect as His love is perfect, for we shall see God, and seeing Him, we shall know Him in the overwhelming fullness of His fatherly love and respond as never before with a depth and intimacy of love for the One Who so loves us.