Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

January 7, A.D. 2003

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

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

Whoever is without love, does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:8)

Some years ago a popular song asked, "What is this thing called love?" A portion of the lyrics escapes me, but what I do recall bears little resemblance to the "genuine article" -- Divine Love. Love that is strictly of human origin deals mainly with superficialities, is expected to keep the smitten on an emotional "high," but fades and even ceases when it encounters the harsher realities and responsibilities of life and the human imperfections in one's "significant other(s)." In summary, it is selfish, self-centered and self-satisfying; though giving little of self, it expects a large return: vows and commitment mean nothing and it flees when it is called to self-denial.

What did St. John mean when he tells us that God is love? Divine love does not ebb and flow with the tides of human emotions; it is unconditional, steadfast, unchanging, though the object of His love may consistently indulge in unlovable behavior (sin). God's love is both self-giving and life-giving. Were this not so, God would not have sacrificed His only Son to expiate our sins, and through Christ to offer us new life. God is ever active, seeking out souls to save; but He can only give Himself to those who will receive Him; He will not break down doors that one insists on keeping locked and unanswered to His knocking.

Christ's feeding of the 5,000 in the wilderness denotes God's care for both our physical and spiritual needs. This act shows God's generosity, how He lavishes His love upon us, (12 baskets of leftovers), and it also calls us to participate in His generosity in our dealings with others. We become fully human only when we emulate Christ; as we empty ourselves as He did through self-denial, He will fill us with His love to overflowing.

All-holy Father,
you revealed yourself,
your total self-giving love through Christ.
Send your Holy Spirit upon us to teach us to love truly
and enable us to give that love freely to one another.

- Marie L. Bocko, ocds (mlbocko@borg.com)


St. Raymond of Penafort

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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