YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
HOMILY THEME: THE MINISTRY OF JESUS…..” The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me”
HOMILY: Today, we remember that «he who loves God love his brother also» (1Jn 4:21). How can we love God, whom we do not see, when we do not love our brother who is made in God’s image? After Saint Peter had disowned Him three times, Jesus asked Peter whether he loved Him: «Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you» (Jn 21:17), he said. Jesus also asks us, as He did with Saint Peter: «Do you love me?», and we want to answer: —Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you despite my weaknesses; but let me prove it to you, help me discover my brothers’ needs, to truly give myself to the needy and neglected, to accept them as they are, to value them.
Love is first man’s calling. The Lord calls us to give ourselves to bring true happiness to others. As Saint John of the Cross says, «at the evening of our day we shall be judged by our loving». At the evening of each day, it is appropriate that we pause to examine ourselves to determine how we expressed our love, focusing on those aspects that we need to improve to make our loving an even greater blessing to others.
In His messianic proclamation Jesus said «The Spirit of the Lord is upon me» (Lk 4:18). It is the Spirit of Love that «anointed the Messiah to bring good news to the poor» (cf. Lk 4:18), who also “rests” upon us and guides us towards perfect love: as the Second Vatican Council points out, «all the faithful ones, of any estate or condition, are welcome to the plenitude of Christian life and the perfection of Charity».
If we allow it, the Holy Spirit will transform us just as He changed the Apostles, so that we can act under His influence, even as He grants us His blessings, bringing them to all our hearts, as Saint Paul wrote: «But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law» (Gal 5:22-23).
Fr. Llucià POU i Sabater (Granada, Spain)