Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, June 4
May Each of Us Pray Daily for the Strength and for the Grace to Love One Another As God Would Have Us Love – for Love Is Who God Truly Is, and Love Is Where Our Hearts Should Always Be.
“Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.” – words from today’s psalm which speak to us about truth, devotion, and faithful discipleship.
It was during the Second Vatican Council that I had entered the seminary. I remember when coming home on vacation, my father would talk about all the changes the Church was going to implement, and since he was very much from the “old school” philosophy, he had a difficult time accepting change.
And yet, when all things are said and done, when everything is placed in its proper perspective, change is not necessarily a bad thing, for the tensions which come about as a result of change can spur us on to greater creativity.
For those who were of my dad’s age back in the 1960’s, it was difficult for them to see the Holy Spirit at work in the Church. Now, I am not referring to the liturgical abuses which have resulted in this post-Vatican II environment, but when we look at the Church as it is today, more than fifty years later, we can see, in hindsight, how God, through His Spirit of Truth and Love, was making His Bride more relevant to the needs of the faithful in modern-day society through the changes enacted by Vatican II.
And how did Paul express it in today’s First Reading? “But the word of God is not chained.”
Each of us, by virtue of our Baptism in Christ, becomes “priest, prophet and king” in order to bring God’s Love to others. It is through the faith which we profess and the words of Paul’s Letter, which we read today, that spur us on to discipleship – truly living the word of God, not only for our own individual well-being, but also for the needs of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Paul further encourages us with the words, “If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him.”
As with most things in life, for us to truly make a difference for the better, whether it be success in a personal vocation, being a positive and guiding influence in the lives of our children or grandchildren, or in our personal relationships with other people whom God places in our life’s path – love and patient perseverance are necessary qualities.
But we must also be cautious that we do not ignore the plight of others in need, as Paul says, “…if we deny him he will deny us.” Turning a deaf ear or closing our eyes to the vulnerable and to those in most need, when we are truly able to make a difference, is closing our eyes to selfless love, which is the same as closing our eyes to God.
Jesus, in today’s Gospel, was responding to a rather straight forward but honest question put to Him by a scribe, “Which is the first of all the commandments?”
And Jesus’ answer was based upon the concept of placing God first in our lives, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Then He adds a codicil, a postscript if you will: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
When you and I look at the call to discipleship which we find in Paul’s letter, and marry it to the concept of love in Jesus’ answer to the scribe, we can truly begin to better understand Paul’s words, “But the word of God is not chained.” And what is the word of God? – LOVE!
The act of our discipleship in Christ then becomes the act of unchaining God’s Love which resides within each one of us! For each of us then, both you and me, become God’s instrument on Earth in reaching out to the needs of one another. And it is our Lord’s desire that we remain faithful to our calling of discipleship.
Truly embracing this baptismal calling which God has placed within us requires that we remain faithful in our love for God. It also requires that we learn to love ourselves and to love our neighbors right where we are, right within our own circumstances in life. It does not require that we travel great distances or accomplish great things, for there is so much work to be done right in our own “back yard”.
Saint Mother Teresa once commented, “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.” And Saint Maria Faustina wrote in her Diary, “Mercy is the flower of love. God is love, and mercy is His deed. In love it is conceived; in mercy it is revealed.”
But as simple as all this sounds, the reality for some people is that loving others can sometimes be challenging! To be able to love those whom we find difficult to love requires true humility on our part, a virtue which opens our hearts to the Love of God, which, in turn, enables us to share the absolute beauty of God’s Love with complete charity and selflessness!
We then become that extension of the Merciful Heart of Jesus to those around us, for He truly delights in a pure and humbled heart.
Let us pray each day for the strength and for the grace to love one another as God would have us love – for Love is who God truly is; and Love is where our hearts should always be! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “But the word of God is not chained. Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:9b-10)
- “This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him.” (2 Timothy 2:11-12a)
- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- “Rely on the mighty LORD; constantly seek his face.” (1 Chronicles 16:11)
- “But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Timothy 2:12b-13)
- “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense. You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-36)
- “Jesus replied, ‘The first [commandment] is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’” (Mark 12:29-31)
- “And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’” (Mark 12:34a)
- “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 4:20-21)
- “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)
- “Make known to me your ways, LORD; teach me your paths, Guide me by your fidelity and teach me, for you are God my savior.” (Psalm 25:4-5b)
Prayer for the Day
“Our Eternal and Most Loving Father in Heaven,
may everything I do begin with Your inspiration,
continue with Your saving help,
and reach perfection under Your guidance.
“With Your Loving Care, guide me in my daily actions,
and help me to persevere with love and sincerity.
Teach me to judge wisely the things of Earth
and to always love the things of Heaven.
“Keep me in Your Presence always
and never let me be separated from You.
Your Spirit instilled in my heart that I am Your child,
and I am confident to call You my Father.
“Make Your Love and Mercy the foundation of my life;Anonymous
and teach me to long for Heaven as my eternal Home.
May its promise and hope guide my way on Earth
until I finally attain eternal life with You. Amen.”