Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Sunday 26 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Philip Neri
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Did you know that in the Bible, loving means giving?

shutterstock_1846591471.jpg | Shutterstock

Mónica Muñoz - published on 05/11/24

The meaning of the word “love” has been watered down over time, but in the Bible its meaning is clear: loving means giving — your time, your support, your life …

The Bible is the book in which God expresses his love for humanity. Despite the fact that our forefathers failed him right from the start, time and time again he forgave them and renewed his love for them. After the first sin of Adam and Eve, he promised a savior: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gn 3:15)

Loving and giving

God has shown us clearly that he never tires of loving us, and as a consequence, he has given us everything, even his only Son: “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.” (Jn 3:16)

And the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, also spoke about the power of giving in its many forms and synonyms — giving your time, your possessions, your money, an even your life. “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mt 19:21).

Love is proven by works


This is why true love isn’t about (just) words. Jesus gave a stern warning: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21).

To make it as clear as possible, when describing final judgment he lists works of mercy that we should carry out in relation to others, especially those who suffer materially, if we want to go to be with him in heaven: 

“Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

(Mt 25:34-36)

And shortly before his death, he told his apostles, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:12-13)

His disciples got the message. James goes back over the subject in his letter:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

(James 2:14-17)

To truly love, we must learn to give.

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.