Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas Reflection: Thursday after Epiphany

(I Jn 4:19-5:4; Lk 4:14-22)

After Jesus read the passage from Isaiah, he said, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” That Scripture passage is fulfilled in our hearing whenever and wherever we practice the love of neighbor that is delineated by St. John in the first reading. When John tells us that we are to love one another, he is not offering us an option. We can’t claim that we love God and at the same time reject or hate our brothers and sisters. Mahatma Ghandi once pointed out that Christianity is beautiful as it is proclaimed in the Gospel, but not as it is lived by Christians. In other words, we must show by our actions what we profess with our lips. You and I who claim to be Christians are the only Gospel example that some people ever see. The love of God and neighbor is a tremendous challenge every day. It's so easy to say that we love God, but not so easy to see God in one another.

If we do not do so, we are effectively denying our faith in the Incarnation we are celebrating in this season. “The Word was made flesh” means that God dwells in our humanity, that God is present in the people all around us— even in the people we dislike the most or the people we can't seem to get along with on a day-to-day basis. Our love for the God we cannot see is revealed to others in our love for those whom we can see— the people we encounter each day.

– Fr. Adrian Tirpak, T.O.R.