1 John 3:13-18
13 Do not wonder, brethren, that the world hates you.14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.15 Any one who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?18 Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.17 This I command you, to love one another.
St JOHNS EPISTLE allude to the sacrament of baptism when he writes that the believer has “passed out of death into life” and became a new person in Christ. John surprisingly draw a parallel between hatred and murder to emphasize that a believers hatred for another person, shall deny them heaven! John raise the ante by stating that to love another person is to be prepared to lay down our lives for them! Finally, we are reminded that if we have the means to assist another but refuse to do so, we reject the love of God.
THE GOSPEL READING: Today’s feast in honor of Fr Kolbe celebrate his heroic deed when he chose to die in place of another innocent Jewish prisoner in a German concentration camp. We can rightly conclude that his response was motivated by his faithfulness of living the gospel in service of the vulnerable and the innocent!
The prevailing pandemic has certainly highlighted our fear of death to the extent that we have abrogated or selectively heeded our Lords commands to be fruitfully in service of the vulnerable and the sick and to even lay down our lives for another. Our slide into relative obscurity to self-preserve at the expense of not living the gospel is a blot on our escutcheon! St Augustine of Hippo’s qoute is apropos at this juncture: “If you believe what you like in the gospel and you reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe,but yourself.” May our Lord reward and bless those who selflessly offered themselves to others during these trying times.
LET US PRAY: Psalm 116
10 I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; 11 I said in my consternation, “Men are all a vain hope.”
12 What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me?13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,
16 O LORD, I am thy servant; I am thy servant, the son of thy handmaid. Thou hast loosed my bonds.17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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