Third Day of Epiphany   14 comments

Above:  Head of the Statue of Christ the Redeemer, South America

Love in God

JANUARY 8, 2024


1 John 4:7-12 (New Jerusalem Bible):

My dear friends,

let us love one another,

since love is from God

and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.

Whoever fails to love does not know God,

because God is love.

This is the revelation of God’s love for us,

that God sent his only Son into the world

that we might have life through him.

Love consists in this:

it is not we who loved God,

but God loved us and sent his Son

to expiate our sins.

My dear friends,

if God loved us so much,

we too should love one another.

No one has ever seen God,

but as long as we love one another

God remains in us

and his love comes to its perfection in us.

Psalm 72:1-8 (New Jerusalem Bible):

God, endow the king with your own fair judgment,

the son of the king with your own saving justice,

that he may rule your people with justice,

and your poor with fair judgment.

Mountains and hills,

bring peace to the people!

With justice he will judge the poor of the people,

he will save the children of the needy

and crush their oppressors.

In the sight of the sun and the moon he will endure,

age after age.

Hew ill come down like rain on mown grass,

like showers moistening the land.

In his days uprightness shall flourish,

and peace is plenty till the moon is no more.

His empire shall stretch from sea to sea,

from the river to the limits of the earth.

Mark 6:30-44 (New Jerusalem Bible):

The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught.  And he said to them,

Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while;

for there were so many coming and going that there was no time for them even to eat.  So they went off in the boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves.  But people saw them going, and many recognized them; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them.  So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.  By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said,

This is a lonely place and it is getting very late, so sent them away, and they can go to buy themselves something to eat.

He replied,

Give them something to eat yourselves.

They answered,

Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?

He asked,

How many loaves have you?  Go and see.

And when they had found out they said,

Five, and two fish.

Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass, and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties.  Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and began handling them to the disciples to distribute among the people.  He also shared out the two fish among them all.  They all ate as much as they wanted.  They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish.  Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

The Collect:

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


The love of God exceeds the bounds of human imagination and definition.  It knows no limits and the full reach of grace, part of the love, can be scandalous.  This love entails self-sacrifice (witness Jesus), and we Christians have the vocation to reflect the love of God to others.

Yet sometimes, in the name of God (and Jesus), we hurt each other emotionally, without any redeeming purpose.  As I write these words I know that I am (and have been) on the receiving end of such attitudes born of a spiritual conversion (in another person) gone horribly wrong.  The other person, although sincere, has engaged in actions which have prompted emotional pain.  So a relationship has ended.  I have determined that no relationship is better than a dysfunctional one, but that a functional one remains a possibility and a favored goal.  The relationship in question can find restoration through the mutual and demonstrated love which comes from God alone.

May it do so.


Written on June 8, 2010


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