Thursday after Epiphany

Amongst other great surprises which came from the deeds and words of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, one of the biggest was her diagnosis of the spiritual poverty rampant in first world countries. Mother Teresa’s idea for a cure? She said to smile at our family members. To ask God to increase our love for those closest. In this way love can spread and in turn aid the materially poor further away.

This comes to mind when I read the words of St. John, “Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (1 John 4:21) Each of us has someone close, whether in our families, at work, or in other places in our lives, whom we fail to love. It may be for something he has said. It may be because of a careless (or hurtful) word of our own. In any case the result is the same. We become increasingly blind to our brother’s noble heritage as a son of God. We then become increasingly blind to God’s noble place as Father of each and every one of us.

Christ came to help us. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” (Luke 4:18) He will come to enrich our spiritual poverty, to liberate us from the prison of the hardened heart, to shed His light upon us to see one another as brothers and God as our Father, and thus bring an end to the oppression of sin in our lives. But He calls us to cooperate with His grace.

Today, let us ask Christ to live in us by showing us one person whom we need to forgive (or ask for forgiveness), and let us allow Jesus to lead us in concretely rebuilding that relationship. Then we will not be liars when we claim to love the God whom we cannot see.

January 8th, 2015