Thought For Today is by Triona Doherty called 'A brief history of love'
God does not have favourites, Peter tells us. You wouldn't think that was the case sometimes, listening to some of the people who purport to speak on his behalf.
When Professor Stephen Hawking passed away earlier this year, people from all walks of life paid tribute to his brilliance, his scientific legacy, his courage and his sense of humour. Professor Hawking's work taught the world so much about the boundless mysteries of the universe. Though he considered himself an atheist, he believed that life had meaning, and that we should always be curious about how the universe came into existence. He believed in love, and is quoted as saying 'It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love.'
And yet, after his death, there were some who couldn't resist the opportunity to ask: where is he now, this man who did not believe in God? The judgement and lack of compassion was staggering, coming as it did from 'Christian' commentators. Where is the love in such attitudes?
Today we bring everything back to one word: love. There are more than 20 references to love in today's readings. God's love does not discriminate. In the second reading we hear that 'everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God', while 'anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love.' That love that God showed by sending his Son for us, is the same generous, wholehearted, self-sacrificing love we are called to show others - whether their beliefs align with ours or not. God does not have favourites.