Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thursday after Epiphany

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 2:1-10 The Qualities of the Abbess
Mass: 1 Jn 4:19-5:4; Resp Ps 72; Lk 4:14-22

In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments.

'God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son' (Jn 3:16). That is why we love God, because, as St John tells us in today's first reading, 'we love God because he first loved us.' St John continues to be clear. If anyone says, 'I love God,' but hates his brother or sister, he is a liar. A liar. How do we know that we love one another? When we love God and obey his commandments. And the first and greatest of these is: Love the Lord God with your whole heart, your whole soul and all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself (Mt 22:37-39; Mk 12:30-30; Lk 10:27).

We are presented with the life-long challenge of learning the meaning of authentic love; what it means to be loved and to love. St Paul assists.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrong-doing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
(1 Cor 13:4-8)

In todays' homily, the Holy Father helps by giving us three signs that indicate whether or not one loves her brother or sister:

First, a question: 'Do I pray for others? For those whom I like and for those whom I dislike?'

Second, feelings of envy, jealousy, and/or wishing someone ill: 'Don't let these feeling grow. They are dangerous.'

Third, engaging in chatter, gossip, or murmuring that is harmful to others: 'If I do this', Pope Francis said, 'I do not love God because with my words I am destroying another person.'

(Lk 4:22)

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