Daily Reflection – May 25, 2016
Wednesday 25 May 2016
1 Peter 1:18-25
Praise the Lord, Jerusalem
Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20
Gospel Reading: Mark 10:32-45
Today’s Note: Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem,
and Jesus went ahead of them.
They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.
Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them
what was going to happen to him.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man
will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death
and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him,
spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death,
but after three days he will rise.”
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
came to Jesus and said to him,
“Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?”
They answered him,
“Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
They said to him, “We can.”
Jesus said to them, “The chalice that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Love one another intensely. (1 Peter 1:22)
Think for a minute about anything you’ve experienced intensely: a thrilling movie, perhaps, or an engrossing discussion. Maybe a hard-fought competition or an emotional situation that left you feeling either completely drained or newly alive. That’s how Peter urges us to love one another.
It sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? At least until we remember that God’s love for us is more intense than any love we could possibly have for other people – and that it’s his love in us that enables us to love intensely.
So what does “intense” love look like? Forgiving someone as often as God has forgiven us, even for a repeated offence. Showing someone kindness in spite of his indifference or hard-heartedness. Looking after an ailing family member with the same devotion that God has for you. Showing a special concern for the poor, the marginalised, and the underprivileged. Now that’s intense!
If your first inclination is to dismiss this command as unattainable, you’re on the right track. But remember, what is impossible for us is more than possible for God. So the best way to start is to ask your heavenly Father to show you his love in a more tangible way. Ask him to help you find glimpses of it during your day: word of encouragement that come to your mind, a sense of wonder at the beauty of nature, a nudge to help a neighbour, anything positive and inspiring. Then, when you find something, thank him right then and there. For that one moment, let his love wash over you and bring you peace.
Receiving God’s love like this can soften your heart. It can humble you and move you to treat other people as God has just treated you.
Remember, too, that change occurs over time, so don’t think you have to be perfect right away. As God’s love increases in you, you will be able to draw from that reservoir to show that love to the people around you. Then, as you stretch yourself to be more loving, God will refill and refresh you. Remember: you can never outdo God in generosity, in love, or in intensity!
“Father, thank you for loving me intensely. Teach me how to be more loving.”