Tuesday after Epiphany
Memorial Feast: Saint John Neumann (1811-+1860) Patron Saint of Catholic Education, first American Bishop to prescribe the Forty Hours Devotion
First Letter of Saint John 4:7-10; Psalm 72: 1-4, 7-8; Mark 6:34-44
If you stop to count the number of times the word “love” is used as either a noun or a verb in these three verses of John’s letter, we get the idea that he was convinced it was the essence of Christian life. He also shares some insight into the theology of this virtue.
John proclaims, “God is Love?” As the creator, if this is His very nature, then God is the source and origin of all love. Anyone or anything lovable or capable of loving has that quality from God. If God ceased to exist, love would vanish from the face of the earth.
The next important fact tells us that God loved us first. Most of us in our dealing with others are hesitant to give our love to another for fear of being rejected. No problem with trusting God since he takes the initiative. Saint John tells us, “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.”
One essential way we express our love for God is by loving our neighbor. A person can deceive himself or herself by thinking they are keeping the Ten Commandments perfectly. Yet if we reject or even hate our neighbors, it would follow that they have a false god and not the God of love.
Friends, the “hopefulness” of God’s love, is held out to is in today’s Gospel narrative. The multiplication of the loaves and fishes is considered a foreshadowing of the Eucharist. Through this sacred meal, God, who is love, both spiritually and physically, becomes part of us. It is our sharing of divine love. Through our participation in this meal, we come to the knowledge of and relationship with God. Only a God who is love could provide such a gift of love in our lives.
Question of the Day: How will you become more aware and respond consistently to your call from God to feel the love of Jesus flow through you to help bring peace and justice to the world?
Prayer: “Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.” (Psalm 72)