Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Priest
1 John 4:7-10;Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8; Mark 6:34-44
In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us. (1 John 4:10)
The second law of thermodynamics tells us that there can be no such thing as a “perpetual motion machine.” This means that a machine can’t keep running on its own power indefinitely; it will have to stop eventually. A power plant can’t generate electricity for your home without some kind of fuel to keep it going. An engine that isn’t hooked up to a battery can’t power your car. There has to be a constant energy source for a machine to keep running.
Our spiritual engines are no different. We know this because Scripture tells us to “love one another, because love is of God” (1 John 4:7). We can’t love without being filled with his love. We can’t share his compassion and mercy unless we are receiving them ourselves. It’s humbling, and at the same time very freeing, to admit that God is the source of our goodness and kindness, not ourselves.
So how can we maintain our connection to Jesus? There are a number of ways, but chief among them is the Eucharist. As the source and summit of our life in Christ, the celebration of the Mass is the place where Jesus is present most fully and where we can receive him most completely. Yes, we need to pray every day; we need to study Scriptures; we need to have good relationships with other believers; we need to do good works. But above all else, we need Jesus.
The good news is that Jesus loves to meet our needs! He is present to us in the physical form of bread and wine, showing us that he is our life, our strength, and our nourishment. He lavishes us with grace as we gather to hear his word and celebrate his resurrection. He pours out his power and guidance as we join together in worship. It is Jesus’ own life within us that makes our lives shine. This, more than anything else, is the hope of glory for the people in our lives (Colossians 1:27).
When you find it difficult to answer God’s call to love, remember where you can go to refuel. Jesus is always there for you. He’s always ready to embrace you, to feed you, and to build you up.
“Thank you, Lord, for loving me first! Thank you for being my life, my strength, and my joy.”~WAU