Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved — loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~Rumi (13th century Persian poet)

Gospel Text: (MK 6:34-44)
When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said,
“This is a deserted place and it is already very late.
Dismiss them so that they can go
to the surrounding farms and villages
and buy themselves something to eat.”
He said to them in reply,
“Give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him,
“Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food
and give it to them to eat?”
He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.”
And when they had found out they said,
“Five loaves and two fish.”
So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass.
The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties.
Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples
to set before the people;
he also divided the two fish among them all
They all ate and were satisfied.
And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments
and what was left of the fish.
Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.

The reading today amplifies the theme of God's love. The breaking of the bread and its being shared is a symbol of the life of the Christian community, where all the resources of the community are shared. In fact, resources mysteriously seem to multiply as people share with one another. Additionally, there was bread and fish left over to share with those who were not present.

Did you notice that Jesus does not distribute the bread and fish himself? He asked his disciples to help him. Is that how Jesus acts today? People come to know Jesus today through our thoughtful deeds and words. "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God (1 Jn 4:7)." Like the fragments of bread and fish, God's love is in abundance. As it flows into us, we must let it flow beyond us to others.

An essential element to remember is the source of our ability to love, especially when we don't feel like showing love, is not within ourselves. "Love consists in this: not that we have loved God, but that God has loved us (1 Jn 4:7-19)." The evidence is in God's sending "his son as an offering for our sins"(1 Jn 4:9–10).

As St Paul the Apostle says in his famous passage in the first letter to the Corinthians, "If I have not love, I am nothing. (1 Cor 13:2)"

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