Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tuesday after Epiphany

(I John 4:7-10; Mark 6:34-44)

Someone recently posed the word family as an acrostic.  The word is said to mean: Forget about me; I love you. Families are made to teach selfless love – how to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of others.  The first reading today shows how love is especially a characteristic of God’s family.

“God is love,” it says.  In another place John’s First Letter emphasizes that love is not just a word or a feeling.   “Let us not love in word or speech,” its author writes, “but in deed and truth.”  He gives God Himself as the model of love: “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.

“Everyone knows this,” we might say.  But we don’t always live it.  We tend to think of ourselves first and then others.  Jesus, as today’s gospel shows, opposes this outlook.  “’Give them some food yourselves,’” he tells his disciples when they want to dismiss the crowds.  He calls us as well to make sacrifices for others’ good.