Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time, July 9
Each One of Us Has a Purpose Here in This Life; Each One of Us Is Called to Fulfill God’s Will in His Plan of Salvation for His Children, As We Reach Out with Selfless Love to One Another.
Jesus says to each of us in today’s Gospel, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
Yet, as we reflect upon the reality in which we live today, there are many circumstances in life which tend to overwhelm the heart and drown out the voices of love. How many times do we know of children who, after enduring pressures or misguidance from their peers, end up making, not just poor choices, but some very bad ones – choices which set them against the moral and ethical laws of society, choices which reflect a failure to love?
And if they should get caught in the midst of their questionable or illegal activities – well, for some, it may be some form of a rite of passage – but for those who care for them, those who truly love them, it is an agony which tears deep at the heart of every God-fearing mother and father!
I remember a commercial that once ran on TV regarding the consequences of violence between two young men. The underlying theme of this advertisement was the unseen pain inflicted on the mothers as a result of the violent behavior of their sons, and the blood which, as a consequence, was sadly but ultimately shed – all the result of arrogance, pride, anger and hatred, extremely poor choices which ended up inflicting pain in the hearts of those who loved them.
Love is that most special of all gifts which is freely given to each one of us, most especially in almost all instances by the mother who bore and gave us life. Love is that special emotion which is priceless – a gift which comes without a price tag – yet, a gift, nevertheless, which is freely given, which fills our hearts with a sense of security and belonging.
Sadly, however, there are times in our lives when the love which we have freely given to others is not returned to us, or the example of love given is not freely shared with others by those who have been shown the example.
And for a mother or father who has spent their entire lives loving and giving the example of love to their children, and then witnessing their children’s failure to live this love in their own lives, there is great pain; there is great anguish.
And in the midst of all this pain, in the midst of all this anguish, the parents’ love for their child never fades; the parents’ love for their child still remains.
We see this example in our First Reading, when God speaks of the Love which He has for His Chosen People, and the sadness which filled His Divine Being – “When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the farther they went from me…My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred.”
In God’s infinite and unfathomable Love for His children, He would not forget them, in spite of all their transgressions. He would not cease loving them; and, in spite of the great anguish He felt, God continued to nurture them with His Love: “I will not give vent to my blazing anger…I will not let the flames consume you.”
When someone hurts us deeply, how do we respond? Do we respond in like measure, inflicting insult for insult or pain for pain? Or do we look to the example our faith teaches us, remembering the example which Christ gave us when the children He loved betrayed Him, rejected Him, even crucifying Him to the point of death? For His death was the ultimate example of what love is called to be – a selfless and self-sacrificial giving of oneself for another, placing the other person before our own wants and needs.
Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give” – what a profound statement when we truly take the time to reflect upon our Lord’s words!
“Without cost you have received…” From even before the moment we are conceived, God freely gives us His Love. From the very moment our conception is made aware in the minds of our parents – if they are people of faith, if they are people who are filled with true love and respect for God – they begin to love us and they begin to prepare their own lives for that awesome moment when we are brought forth into this world!
We become the recipients of a Love freely given by our Creator in Heaven, and a love freely given by our creators here on Earth.
“…without cost you are to give.” Filled with His Love which has been freely given, nurtured by this Love which becomes an example for us to follow, how can we not give this love in return?! How can we not share this love with others?!
And we are asked to look at the ultimate example of what love truly means, especially when we look to the Cross of Jesus Christ, when He freely spread His arms out wide – so as to embrace both you and me in His infinite and indescribable Love.
To return this Love, to share this Love, means to fill God’s Heart with joy, for it brings us into an ever closer and more intimate relationship with Eternal Love Himself. And we should be reminded of this every time we gaze upon a cross or crucifix.
“Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” For those of us who call ourselves true children of God, no matter what our faith persuasion may be – living these words, making them a part of our daily lives, becomes our roadmap to Heaven; they become our pathway to eternal life.
For each one of us has a purpose here in this life; each one of us is called to fulfill God’s will in His plan of salvation for His children, as we reach out with selfless love to our brothers and sisters in our continuing journey to become ever closer to the Heart of Jesus.
May the profoundness of our Lord’s words in today’s Gospel transform not only our lives, but also enable us, so that we may bear witness to the Truth of God’s Love to those around us – and that our love and our faithful example may truly bear fruit in others. †
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
- “When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the farther they went from me…My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred.” (Hosea 11:1-2a, 8c)
- “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” (Matthew 10:8bc)
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
- “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:13-14)
- “…in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God.” (Colossians 1:24b-25)
- “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you know how you should respond to each one.” (Colossians 4:6)
- “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
- “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
- “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)
- “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
- “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (John 13:15)
Prayer for the Day
You who are over us,
You who are one of us,
You who are also within us.
“May all see You in me also;
may I prepare the way for You;
may I thank You for all that shall fall to my lot;
may I also not forget the needs of others…
“Give me a pure heart – that I may see You;Dag Hammarskjold
a humble heart – that I may hear You;
a heart of love – that I may serve You;
a heart of faith – that I may abide in You.”