LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER (1 John 4:7-10/Psalm 72:1-4,7-8/Mark 6:34-44)

LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER (1 John 4:7-10/Psalm 72:1-4,7-8/Mark 6:34-44)

(Homily for Tuesday 8 January, 2019)

"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God for God is love" *(1 John 4:7-8)*

Jesus yesterday flagged off his earthly ministry with a mission statement “Repent for the kingdom of God is close at hand”. Because Christ loves us and wants us to be part of this kingdom, He calls us to conversion and repentance. When we look at the entire mission of Christ on earth, one thing we will notice is that it is a mission that is built on love.

A mission that started with love and ended in love. The incarnation is the story of God’s love and the redemption of humanity is characterized by the same excess love of God.

Christ is indeed the manifestation of the fullness of God’s love (Eph 3:19). It was to show the extreme form of His love to humanity that God sent His Only Son that whoever believes in Him may not die but have eternal life (Jn 3:16).

Part of this love in Christ’s missionary activity is presented today in the gospel reading according to Saint Mark (Mk. 6:34-44). This gospel is a continuation of the incident that took place when the disciples returned from their first missionary journey. After having been exhausted in attending to people’s needs alongside with His disciples, Jesus decided to go to a lonely place to rest and to refresh Himself together with His disciples who were also tired.

He came to rest and when He immediately saw the large crowd, He took pity on them, He saw them like a sheep without a Shepherd, He set Himself to teach them at some length. And finally fed them. When we take a closer look at the entire action of Christ in this gospel reading, we will see that it was out of love and compassion for the multitude that made Him forgo the rest He came to have, after being exhausted.

His love prompted Him to have pity on them. His love pushed Him to teach the crowd, to feed them with the word of God. His love reminded Him not to let the crowd go without giving them something to eat. It was as a result of His love that brought about the Miracle of the multiplication of the bread and the feeding of the five thousand we heard today in the gospel.

The gospel of today is indeed a tip of an iceberg and a summary of how God relates and deals with us every day, with love and compassion. His love for us is unquantifiable. The large crowd in the gospel represent the entire humanity. If God loves us this much, we are bound to love one another not just in words but in our actions.

Saint John in the first reading of today reminds us of the necessity and moral obligation of loving one another since love comes from God and that anyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Anyone who fails to love can never have known God because God is love. Therefore, God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world His Only Son. Let us, therefore, learn how to love one another for by so doing, we prove that we are indeed God’s Children!

Let Us Pray: Eternal Father, you are love and you have taught us how to love through your action. Help us to love one another on a daily basis not just in words but by our action. Amen