Tuesday, January 7, 2014
“. . . For God is love.” - For many of us it is too much to believe.
“Without nourishing our own souls, we can't nourish the world, for we cannot give what we do not have. As we attend to our souls, we emanate invisibly and involuntarily the light we have received.”
Gospel Text: (1 JN 4:7-10)
Beloved, let us love one another,
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
In this way the love of God was revealed to us:
God sent his only-begotten Son into the world
so that we might have life through him.
In this is love:
not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.
We all immensely enjoy hearing about great saints who loved in so heroic a way that they were willing to give their lives for those they loved. I like to think we all desire to love heroically, but where I fail the most, and perhaps many of us fail, is loving in small ways first.
What we always seem to forget is that love is not always manifested through major acts such as the giving of our lives for someone. Sure there are tons of saints who exemplify for us major acts of love. But there are many saints who only loved in the small ways they knew they were called to love, yet they exemplify the love of Jesus just as much.
In order to love greatly, we must be able to love others in the small ways that they need. In our own lives this may mean having patience with our grandma who has memory loss and asks the same question four times, or giving a friend a ride who doesn’t have a car, or dealing with coworkers who are aggravating, or doing the things our husband or wife asked us to do. Not everyone needs us to lay down our lives for them in a massive act of love. They may just need someone to talk with, which may seem small, but the magnitude of this form of love is beyond our comprehension. Just as Jesus multiplied the two fish and five loaves in the gospel today (Mark 6:34-44), so also will he multiply the magnitude of our love.
Keep this in mind: A power plant can’t generate electricity for your home without some kind of fuel to keep it going. An engine that isn’t hooked up to a battery can’t power your car. There has to be a constant energy source for a machine to keep running.
Our spiritual engines are no different. We know this because Scripture tells us to “love one another, because love is of God” (1 John 4:7). We can’t love without being filled with his love. We can’t share his compassion and mercy unless we are receiving them ourselves. It’s humbling, and at the same time very freeing, to admit that God is the source of our goodness and kindness, not ourselves.
So how can we maintain our connection to Jesus? There are a number of ways, but chief among them is the Eucharist. As the source and summit of our life in Christ, the celebration of the Mass is the place where Jesus is present most fully and where we can receive him most completely. Yes, we need to pray every day; we need to study Scriptures; we need to have good relationships with other believers; we need to do good works. But above all else, we need Jesus.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 5:57 AM
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