Tuesday, January 5, 2016

1 John 4:7-10, Psalm 72:2-4, 7-8, Mark:6:34-44


1 John 4:7-10, Psalm 72:2-4, 7-8, Mark:6:34-44 

1 John 4:7-10

My Beloved, we can always be confident that it is You, God who always takes the initiative. You invite, You empower, You make it possible for us to accomplish the work that You call us to do. Loving God and loving neighbor is possible because God first loved us. These verses are written by the Apostle of Love who experienced Your love tangibly. He walked with You. Broke bread with You. He was so confident of Your love and so comfortable in knowing that he was loved that he, with the utter confidence of a child lay his head against Your breast. He knew that You were the embodiment of love. He now writes to us so compellingly conveying to us with conviction what he himself knew to be true.

My Beloved, if I truly love You and if Your love has transformed me then loving my neighbor will be possible. If Your love is active in me then this love that dwells in me, the love of God who is Christ Jesus my Lord, will in turn manifest itself in my love for those around me. Love will command me, love will rule me, love will prompt every thought, every word and every deed because You have first loved me so much that You lay down Your life as an atoning sacrifice in order that I might live. Love proves itself in action.

Psalm 72:2-4, 7-8

My Beloved, there is a longing in every human heart for peace and justice especially among those who have no one to champion their cause. Rather, they are ground systematically into the dust under the heels of those who ought to look out for them. The rich, the powerful, the strong. But more often than not it is those who have to ensure that they receive their due are the very ones who exploit them. While the psalmist was writing about the coming of the King of Peace, we are privileged to be born in the age when the longing of the Psalmist is realized by Your birth, the King of Peace has come to rule the world. Yet, nations continue to war among each other and peace is still a dream for so man.

But peace has come my Beloved. Peace is Your gift to all who believe and all who do believe in You become children of God. Your peace pours out like a river from You to us and from us to to the rest of the world.


Mark  6:34-44    

My Beloved, verse 34 says on seeing the large crowd You had compassion on them for they were hungry to be fed. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy it is good to be reminded that You are a God of compassion. Your heart is always moved to pity, tenderness, mercy and compassion when You look at us who look to You with childlike faith and expectation. You open Your hand and fill us with every good thing we need. In this particular Gospel passage selected for today’s Liturgy we read Mark’s account of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish.

After satisfying their hunger for God’s Word with a long teaching session we are told that it was late. The disciple approached You and said that it was time to dismiss the crowd as it was a lonely place, the people were a long way from home and should start making the journey back and on the way home could find something to eat in the neighboring farms and villages. The disciples were concerned for the crowd in a superficial, practical way. You challenge them by asking them to feed the people themselves. They were amazed that You could make what was to them a preposterous suggestion. How on earth were they to find the large sum of money it would take to feed the great crowd they asked? They looked out at the problem and found it impossible to solve it. You directed their gaze inwards, You challenged them to look instead at what they did have. They had five loaves and two fish – this fact was not as important as the fact that they had God in their midst and with Him all things are possible.

Once You got their focus off themselves and on to their resources meager as they were You asked them to seat the crowd in groups of hundreds and fifties on the cool, green grass. Once the crowd was seated You demonstrated to them and to us how we are to approach any difficult challenge we may face in life. We do not focus on ourselves but raise our eyes heavenward, to God, confident that anything we ask for in faith He will grant it.  You then prayed a blessing on the food, broke the bread (something that the Apostles will recall at the Last Supper as well as the two disciples who met You on the road to Emmaus and who invited You to dine with them at the end of the journey)  You then handed the broken pieces of bread and fish to the Apostles who then distributed it among the crowd. Mark says everyone ate and had enough and when the leftovers were collected they filled 12 baskets.  Today the Church continues this unbroken Tradition, handing over this power granted to them by You, they take bread and wine, pray a blessing recalling Your words at the Last Supper and we are fed on Your Flesh and Blood. We are given the Bread of Angels as food for the journey towards the Kingdom of God.   

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