Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas Reflection: Wednesday after Epiphany

(I Jn 4:11-18; Mk 6:45-52)

As we approach the end of the Christmas-Epiphany season, the apostle John, in today’s first reading, continues to discuss God’s love for us and our duty to share this love with others.

John reminds us that, “No one has seen God. Yet if we love one another God dwells in us and his love is brought to perfection in us” (1John 4:12). What a very important thought to keep in our minds as we continue to be His disciples in the world today. John declares that the Holy Spirit we received at baptism guarantees our union with God. Our awareness of God living in our hearts will help us not to be afraid of God.

Love truly has no room for fear. We also pray this is our experience of the love relationships in our lives—that love is always without fear. This same theme of freedom from fear occurs in our Gospel reading from Mark. This passage is also appropriate for this special week after the Epiphany, a Greek word that means an appearance. Jesus appeared to all the world by means of the Feast of the Epiphany to proclaim to everyone that he is the Messiah, the Son of God. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus appears to the apostles as they battle a fierce storm on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus tells them not to be afraid but to have faith. Is not that what we come to celebrate today? Our faith in Jesus, a faith without fear, a faith that calls us to action and love of our sisters and brothers. A faith that knows no bounds, a faith that brings us ever closer to Jesus, the Lord.

Resource: Alert to God’s Word, Cassian A. Miles, O.F.M. (The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1971.)

– Fr. Terrence Smith, T.O.R.