But Do You Love Me ?
Daily Reflection – 1/10/19
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth (Luke 4:14-22)
Today, we remember that “he who loves God love his brother also.” How can we love God, whom we do not see, when we do not love our brother who is made in God’s image? After Saint Peter had disowned Him three times, Jesus asked Peter whether he loved Him: “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you” he said. Jesus also asks us, as He did with Saint Peter: “Do you love me?”, and we want to answer: “Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you, despite my weaknesses; but let me prove it to you, help me discover my brothers’ needs, to truly give myself to the needy and neglected, to accept them as they are, to value them.”
It is so easy to love an invisible God yet be very difficult to love a very visible sister or brother. It is so easy to appear pious, devotional, spending long hours in prayer, and yet be able to live in very poor relationships with certain people. Today’s readings highlight the importance of our relationship with the Other, God and people. The Gospel tells us about, the power of the Spirit that anointed Jesus and who anoints us with power that enables us to love our sisters and brothers. In the reading, Luke underlines the inseparable link between loving God and loving our sisters and brothers.
We are to love because God loves first. God’s love for us does not depend on our first loving him. Rather, our love is always a response to His love. It is never our initiative. Our love for God is shown by our loving those around us. Luke puts it very simply: “Whoever loves God must also love his brother and sister.” For everyone who loves the Father loves the children he has given life to. We must love every single child to whom our loving God has given life.
As the people in the synagogue, saw the scripture fulfilled, today the same Scripture passage is fulfilled in our hearing. In word and sacrament, Jesus is with us now. His incarnation has brought us hope, in a world of sin, of self-centered greed and hate. His birth brings healing and wholeness into our lives. This mission of Jesus is now entrusted to us. We become bringers of good tidings to the world. Jesus chooses us to be his hands to serve the poor and free the captives.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, I love You and desire that all You have spoken would penetrate my heart and draw me into all truth. Help me to accept You not only as a little child born in Bethlehem, but also as the Great Prophet of Truth. May I never be offended by the words You speak and may I always be open to Your role in my life. Amen
Love is first man’s calling. The Lord calls us to give ourselves to bring true happiness to others. Each of us should reflect upon whether or not we are willing to be a Good News to all we encounter. Jesus came to free us from the worst tyranny possible – slavery to sin. After being touched by the Lord, it is our turn to touch others
- Posted in: Reflections