January 5, 2021 – Tuesday after Epiphany, Memorial of St. John Neumann, CSsR
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/010521.cfm)
John who is believed to be the author of the 2 Letters of John and the Gospel of John is known to be Jesus’ beloved disciple. Among all the disciples of Jesus, it was only John who died out of old age and missed martyrdom. John who had grown old revealed to us now his consciousness and deep faith in Jesus who loved him so much.
This is the reason why we have the 1st letter of John talking about one thing, love, not just any ordinary love but the Love who is God. Throughout the life of John, the very reason that drew him to follow the Lord was the love of God for him.
John reminded us how this love of God works in our Christian life. In his first letter, he proclaimed, “to love one another, because love is of God.” When we have God in us, it moves us to love. John realized how the love of God was revealed to us. This love is revealed through the birth of God’s only-begotten Son, Jesus.
From Jesus, who is the Father’s concrete expression of love and the face of God’s love, life is gifted to us. John truly felt the weight of this love through his life. It was because of this love that made him to stand strong even in the midst of confusion at the arrest of Jesus. John remained fearless even when Jesus was persecuted. He followed Jesus on his way to Golgotha. John was also present at the foot of the cross of Jesus with Mary and witnessed the death of his Lord. John was also the first to believe in Jesus’ resurrection upon seeing the empty tomb despite his confusion and fears.
It was this love that made John confident and affirmed. The love that he truly believed is life in itself. He believed that God first loved him and because God is faithful. God will always love him even if everyone and everything goes wrong.
It is the same love that God tells us today. God wants that we too will have the fullness of our life. Fullness of life means being in love and remaining in love. In other words, fullness of life also means being in God and remaining in God in all the days of our life.
It should be this the same love that would hopefully lead us to see the light and joy even in the midst of suffering and pain in life, even in the midst of rejection and betrayal of people who are close to us. This love should also inspire us to respond in love, to express our love to God, to ourselves, and to others even to those who have hurt us and people we do not like.
This is what Jesus also showed us in today’s Gospel. Seeing the vast crowd of people who were in pain and suffering, hungry and abandoned, Jesus was moved with pity. Jesus did not only looked at them but he also responded in love. With this, Jesus allowed his disciples to join him in that response of love by giving what they had. The five loaves and two fish as their food were given out of generosity so that others may be satisfied and be filled. This, indeed, is love.
Again, John reminds us, “love!” Because it is of God, and we will never go wrong. Loving the way God loves can be painful, but, God’s love heals and comfort, empowers and liberates us. May we enjoy and cherish that love in us today. Hinaut pa.