22 October, Thursday — Love Dwells

Thursday of Week 29 in Ordinary Time

Ep 3:14-21
Lk 12:49-53

“…that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.” 

To be honest, the saints aren’t always top of mind for me when it comes to asking for prayer intercessions. Nonetheless, they are here at our expense, to help draw us closer to God, so “that Christ may dwell in your hearts”. As St Paul says in today’s first reading, he hopes that we will have “the power to comprehend, with all the saints, … to know the love of Christ”. Like Jesus, the saints were once man, who went through a lot to get to where they are today. Surely, they would know what it takes to get to the kingdom of God, and they are probably working hard to help us get there. But first, we need to get to know the love of Christ.  

Knowing, experiencing and understanding the love of Christ is actually not as straightforward or as easy to understand. It is not as simple as acknowledging Christ or saying that we love him. How much Jesus dwells in our hearts depends on the graces that God showers upon us, on our encounter and experiences with Christ, and how we stay open to allowing the Holy Spirit to work his magic on us. Only when we have allowed the Holy Spirit to touch us, enlighten and open our eyes and mind then can we have the “power to comprehend”, as St Paul talks about.

For me, the difference before my encounter with Christ and after is that now I constantly seek him. Before, I didn’t really know him and so, we didn’t have a relationship. Over the last few years, I’ve been spending a lot more time talking to him, contemplating the word, and trying to hear what he has to say. At a recent silent retreat where I spent three days and two nights with The Lord, he spoke lots to me – in the surrounding nature, the scripture that I read, video that I watched, words that poured out in my journal and especially in the silence of my heart. It is there that I heard his assurance that he’s always been with me – in all the bad as well as the good times. He was there in my loneliness, grief, and hurting. He was there with me even before I knew him. This was a kind of love that took comprehension that “surpasses knowledge” and that’s how I am now so “filled with all the fullness of God.”   

(Today’s OXYGEN by Cynthia Chew)

Prayer: Almighty Father, you who are ever loving and patient, please come and dwell in our hearts, pour out your graces so that we may comprehend the depth of your love for us.   

Thanksgiving: Thank you Jesus, for being with us and trying to reach out to us – especially the times when we need you most, and the times when we’re too busy to notice you.

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