Jesus offers us the definition of love


By Derrick Bertram

I’m going to give you a word, and I want you to think of the first thing that comes to mind.  Are you ready?  Here it goes … February. 

Now some of you were probably like me and thought of the Super Bowl, but I bet most of you probably were thinking about Valentine’s Day.  I’ll give you another word … love.  What does it mean to love?  What is love?

If you look up the word “love” in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, you’ll see 10 definitions.  I’m going to tell you some of those definitions: a strong affection; warm attachment; a beloved person. 

The Bible even has a definition of what love is.  You may be familiar with the reading from a letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  (Corinthians 13: 4-7). 


So how can we define love from the definitions of these two reliable sources? Is there even one true definition of the word?  Well, if you really think about it, love is not defined by one word, but by the actions of one man.  One man sent by God over 2,000 years ago to this earth to spread the message of God’s love through words and actions. This man was even killed as a sign of this love. This man was Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”  (John 3: 16).  Jesus was not just an example of what love is, he is the definition of love.

So here is something to reflect on this February. How can I show my love for God?  How can I be an example of what love is?  Can I be that love that Jesus defined for us?  Show the love that you have not only for God, but for others.  After all, Jesus did tell us to “love one another as I have loved you.”  (John 15: 12). 

So the next time you see your parents, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife or whoever you love, be sure to tell them that you love them and be that definition of love that we all should be.  I would like to close this article with a song by Tom Booth called “Can We Love.”  I want you to take a look at the words to this song and reflect on what I just wrote in this article. Have a blessed and happy February. God bless!

“Can We Love”

By Tom Booth

Refrain: Can we love?  Can we lay down our lives?  Can we wear his crown of thorns? 

Can we drink the cup that he drinks?  We must lay down our lives!

Verse 1: It’s more than raising our hands; it’s more than singing this song. 

It’s saying “yes” to the Giver of life, it’s righting the ways that are wrong! (Refrain)

Verse 2: It’s more than shouting God’s name; it’s more than singing his praise.

It’s bringing forgiveness to injury’s wound, and hope to those imprisoned by shame.


Verse 3: Loving the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul, loving our neighbor as

Ourselves, the kingdom of love we will know!

Verse 4: With feet secure on the ground and hearts humbled by love we stand before

God’s anointed one and ask the question, and ask the question: (Refrain)

(Derrick Bertram is a junior at Clinton High School and a member of Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton and DYMC.  The Catholic Messenger received permission from Tom Booth to reprint the lyrics to “Can We Love.”)

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