Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
January 8 A.D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
1 John 4:19–5:4
Psalm 72:1-2, 14 and 15bc, 17
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Beloved, we love God because
he first loved us.
If anyone says, “I love God,”
but hates his brother, he is a liar;
for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen
cannot love God whom he has not seen.
This is the commandment we have from him:
Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
(1 John 4: 19-21)
During the Christmas season, I heard a holiday song on the radio and the singer was complaining that he had prayed for peace on earth but had yet to find it. I did not pay much attention to the song other than catching this brief part, but it caused me to think quite a bit about our world and the many wars, conflicts and other violence that seem to have the world tightly in their grip. And as I thought about this, I began to wonder, "What is my part is in all this?"
It was not until reading today's first reading that I found the Lord was letting me know I had a much larger part than I had thought. As John tells us in the reading, we cannot love God and hate our brother. In fact, the commandment is that to love God, we must love our brother. What does this mean?
In John's gospel Jesus tells us, "This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." Am I truly willing to do this? Jesus laid down His life for me and if I am to love Him as He loves me, then the commandment is clear. As I have prayed about this, I have found that I fall far short of what I am required to do. I have found that my love of my brothers is insufficient and in many cases I can find instances where my love is completely lacking. I would venture that many of you find yourselves in the same place. Are we lost?
Certainly not. All human beings carry the imprint of the Most High and if we search we can find Jesus in them all. Some excellent advice on this came from my pastor who told me to recognize the good in all people, even those who are difficult or seemingly impossible to love, and if their actions cause us to love them less, realize it is their actions that we can choose not to love, but still love the person. Easy? Well, maybe not, but it is truly the commandment of our Lord and He will grant us the faith we need to love one another.
- Don Claunch, SFO |
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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