Thursday After Epiphany
1st Reading: 1Jn 4:19—5:4
Beloved, we love God because he first loved us. 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. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him. In this way we know that we love the children of God when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Gospel: Lk 4:14-22
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.
THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME: St. John invites us to love because we are loved by God. This means that love has a divine origin – through the Spirt that is upon us. This love must be translated into action by bringing good tidings (being positive), helping the others to attain meaning in life, through a spirit of freedom and enlightenment. Cheering up a person who is chained in the prison of worries and giving hope to the suffering, is a response to God’s Divine love. He who refuses to make use of the opportunities that God accords him in the world, cannot entertain this love. Those possessed by the Spirit of God, become leaders, prophets and helpers in line with God’s love. They are able to reach out to the needy in society. Are we among those possessed by God’s love?
Prayer: Grant us your Spirit Lord, that we may strive to know, love and serve you.
ACCOMPLISH THE MISSION ENTRUSTED: God is the source of all love. St. John rightly says in the first reading that God loved us first. His love is a gift and favour to us. In return for this favour he asks us to love our neighbor as he himself has loved us. God sent his only son to the world to manifest his love for us. The son showed us his love by his messianic activities: to preach good news to the poor, to give liberty to those imprisoned, to free the oppressed, and to heal the sick. When Jesus revealed the Father’s love his listeners did not understand it the way Jesus expected it. It was a struggle for Jesus to make known the face of the Father to the people of his time. We become true children of God and worthy of his love when we accept the mission of Jesus in our lives.
HIGH ON ENERGY AND WELL DIRECTED TOO: Jesus is clear on His message, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor” (Lk 4:18). He brings the Good Tidings of God’s love and gives it to us without measure. On our part, God’s command in 1Jn 4: 21 is so clear, “Those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” Within this invitation, we have the Spirit of God within us. This presence is demonstrated when we show our unconditional love to other human beings. It is not an invitation to walk around attempting to protect god from the attacks of nonbelievers and assaults of other faiths. Through the love of God and of the neighbour, we are always being born into a new life with Christ. Let us keep in mind that in our Christian living, the invitation is to always love my neighbour as I love God.