Wednesday, January 7, 2015

1 John 4:11-18, Psalm 72:1-2, 10, 12-13, Mark 6:45-52


1 John 4:11-18, Psalm 72:1-2, 10, 12-13, Mark 6:45-52

1 John 4:11-18

My Beloved, the word love is used to cover a multitude of sins.  Is is used so loosely and lightly that it is easy to be deceived about the true nature of love it's origin, it's purpose, it's power, it's profound ability to make the greatest sacrifice even the sacrifice of laying down one's life for one's friend. This is God's love for us and love, true love, always evokes a response. It is never indifferent. When one discovers and experiences Your love, when one begins to fathom the greatness of the love of God for His creatures and when we have witnesses like the evangelist John testifying that they have seen Love, walked with Love, touched Love, lived with Love and heard Love speak and listen as He showed them what love is what loving truly means then we gasp in wonder and awe.

How do we know that God loves us?

We know it because He paid the ultimate price for our redemption - the price of the life of His Only Son. How could we not love such a God for deeming us worthy of such love! The best way we can show God we love Him is by loving each other as He desires us to.  If we are filled with the love of God loving our neighbor is easy for we will strive to see the Face of God in him.

How do  we know we have reached perfection in love?  When we are like the Beloved in all things and death holds no fear or dread.  If we cling to life in the world or if we love God out of fear and strive to do His will out of fear of punishment then we have never truly known God or allowed ourselves to experience the splendor of His wondrous love for us.

The surest way I know I love God is when I love my neighbor as I love myself.

Psalm 72:1-2, 10, 12-13

My Beloved, in a world where people are used, abused and discarded like yesterday's news especially the poor in order to support the greed of the powerful, these verses are a timely reminder that the Son of God is the King of Kings.  That all dominion and power belong to You and that in You the poor have a never failing Friend.  Anyone who looks to You for help will receive it and all who put their trust in You will not be disappointed.

Every life is precious in Your sight because Your life was paid as a ransom for each one and it is this that gives it its worth. Anyone who has treated another selfishly and destroyed life with no thought except of self, will have to stand before You when they are called to account as Cain was called to account for the murder of his brother Able.

The Good News is this - Your terrible justice is tempered with infinite mercy. If we are truly sorry for ever having offended You we will be saved.

Mark 6:45-52

Whatever good we do it is because the grace of the power of God is working in us. We do good and we leave. This must be our modus operandi. We do not linger in order to be patted on the back and praised. In fact, if there is any evidence of undue adulation for doing God's work, we must flee in the opposite direction for there is a danger of appropriating for ourselves the glory that is due to God alone.  This is why You sent Your disciples away. You put them into the boar while You Yourself went to be alone with Your Father to pray.  

Our eyes must always be fixed on You knowing that we receive the power to do great things because Your Spirit is at work in us.

Beloved, we are told in verse 45 that You 'made' or in another translation You 'obliged' Your disciples to get into the boat. The boat is a symbol of Your Church. Anyone who believes himself to be a disciple is obliged to get into the Boat - if he refuses he is not a true disciple. 

The reason why You did so is because You saw that the adulation of the crowd could go to their heads although it was undeserved and all glory was to be directed to God alone. You also see that only in the Barque of Peter will be be safe from the winds of evil that toss the world around. The night of sin makes it impossible to see our way. But in the Boat, no matter how dark the night or how terrible the storm, dawn will surely come and with it hope of a new day. The Lord's Day when You will ride the winds and walk victoriously over the turbulent waves and enter the Boat to claim Your Own for Yourself and all evil will be crushed under You heel with just a word of command.

Until now our minds are dull if we truly understood the Gift of God given to us through You and the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, we would strive to sin no more.

Help us Lord as we place all our hope and confidence in You.

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