Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth 1Jn 3,18. St John began his writing employing the word 'children'. He says that true love is not an empty word or a good speech. For him true love must be accompanied by actions and honesty. The word 'children' in this context seems to suggest actions that are driven by the heart of a child which reflects true love, since children's love is honest and it comes from a simple and humble heart. An act of love which comes from our head is different from an act of love which comes from our heart. The former often goes into pros and cons with its complexity while the latter is an unconditional love. True love is unconditional, that is the love that Jesus was talking about.
At the same time we can express our loved equally to people who live nearby and to people who live far away, simply because the power of our love is not conditioned by time and space. This connectedness of love is can be one way of love, because people who have been loved don't know that elsewhere there is someone who loves them. We believe that God loves us always, and it is very often it is sided love, because we sometimes are ignorant of it, or we even refuse to acknowledge of God's love for us. God out of his mercy and goodness would never get tired of waiting, but patiently waits in silence for us whenever we are ready to respond God's love.
Responding to God's love by showing our love to everyone, not just our loved ones but to whom we meet daily in all walks of life. God's love is a life giving. It creates life and supports hope in a situation where there is lack of courage. God's love shows light in places where darkness dominates and injustice rules. We are called to be living witnesses for Jesus through acts of kindness, words of encouragement or even acknowledging our error and responsibility. St John encouraged us to listen to God's voice that whispers to our hearts. When our heart is not at peace; especially when we try defending ourselves on sleepless nights, we need to be honest with God and thanks God for his goodness and mercy which has the power to erase sins. We can't see God's love but it is reflected through acts of charity and generosity and word of kindness given by God's people. Deep in our heart there is the seed of God's goodness and we need to bring it out, put it in action, and make it growth by loving others in action. It is impossible to be a true witness for the Risen Christ when God's goodness in us is being suppressed or inactive.
Jesus used the image of 'the vine and branches' to talk about the important of the connectedness with God's love who is the unlimited source of goodness and kindness. It is only through Him that when we are tired of doing good, we can come to him to recharge and rest in him. Branches are nurtured by the vine and it constantly receives life from the vine for survival. The image of pruning to bear more fruits indicates that God's goodness has the power to clear all obstacles that block the flow of God's goodness in us. It is done when we have our faith in Jesus. Faith and love are the foundations of our love for Jesus. The truth is that cutting hurts and pain is involved because it is the way God's goodness purifies us.