To Love Like Christ

TUESDAY: After Epiphany

1Jn.4:7-10/Ps.71:1-4.7-8/ Mk.6:34-44

To Love Like Christ

Divine love is engaging; it is practical in its stance on fraternity, equality, mercy, bread and justice for all (Matt.6:9-15). It thrives on the theology that God created enough earthly resources to meet the needs of all humankind. It embraces every opportunity to transform and transubstantiate the lives of believers and others – without prejudice. Its sole ambition is to keep the body and soul together until the human person has fulfilled his/her mission on earth. Divine Love wears its resources thin to protect the lives and interests of the poor, the needy and pilgrims while attempting to instruct them in the ways of the Lord. God demonstrated the fullness of these virtues and values for us in Christ, in his Passion and his sacrificial death. Christ is the model God expects us to emulate.

St. John in today’s first reading speaks to us as if we are a people already transformed and transubstantiated by the grace of Christ’s love. John challenges us to behave like those who have the mind of Christ. We must conduct our Christian stewardship with the heartbeat of Christ. We must become living expressions of Caritas and Filial love. Put differently, anyone who lives, moves, and has his/her being in Christ must be as selfless as Christ is in every way – only then will the kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

The Gospel gives us a practical example of how divine love operates. Divine love is unselfish, humane, selfless, philanthropic, and self-sacrificing (1Cor.13:1-13). In the multiplication of the loaves, Christ stood in solidarity with the crowd. He took into consideration the distance away from home; the consequences of a long journey back home on a hungry belly. Christ would never permit this – even though his disciples suggested it was the only solution to the immediate crisis. Divine love is never bias. It sees possibilities where and when selfishness and greed obscure our vision and opportunity to be servants of Caritas and Filial love. It always stands in solidarity with sufferers, victims who are searching for truth and wholeness.

With an air of gentle persuasion, Christ-inspired his disciples to behave, as Caritas and Filial love would require them to do. He asked them to feed the hungry crowd of over five thousand with their five loaves and two fish. The disciples’ response tells us they were ill-prepared for Jesus’ response. Why? Too often, we feel intimidated by our limitations. We forget our potential in Christ. Meanness enables us to overlook generosity begets abundant blessing. This is the best maxim, I think; we can derive from today’s gospel.

Thus, in summary, John, both in the Epistle and in the Gospel begs us to embody the spirit divine love we received in Christ when we put on Christ in baptism (Gal.3:27). This means, from the moment we were baptised we abandoned our old human nature to live according to the virtues, values and valour of Christ. We become Christ for others.

O God, train me in the virtues, values and valour of your Son until I am fully one body with him.

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