9 January 2008 Wednesday after the Epiphany
1 John 4, 11-18; Mark 6, 45-52
The first reading presents to us a basic truth: Whoever abides in love remains in God. To abide in God is an intimate relationship; a perfect relationship is seen in the union of hearts and minds of two or more individuals that they think and feel almost as one. That God remians in him or her who loves Him; and the beloved remains in God.
This relationship is a characteristic of being; it is not something that we do, but something that we are. First, it is a state of waiting. We spend time not doing something, but eagerly preparing and opening our hearts to God anytime He arrives. We bear every second patiently until the arrival. Second, abiding means to endure staying without booting out. We don’t easily give up when the waiting is too long. We use all our enduring and staying powers, trusting that our loyalty will not be useless. This relationship is much more important than what we do or don’t.
When this loving relationship has been established, the assurance wipes away our fears. It removes our insecurities. We no longer become threatened by the storms in our lives just as the disciples were assured of Jesus when they saw Him walking on water towards their boat that was being tossed by the waters of Galilee.
However abiding in God completely and perfectly does not come by at one point. It does not happen overnight. It is a process that we continually strive for, but never being disappointed. Abiding in God is not something we achieve. It is something that comes when we stop for awhile and move about reflectively. It happens when done in prayer. It happens when we come to church not as an obligation but in celebration and on our own free will.
And so we ask ourselves reflectively. We come to mass everyday. We have remain faithful to all the obligations the Church plays on us. But why is it when faced by challenges, we are more afraid that assured? Does assurance in God mean leaving all things to fate? What makes it difficult for us to assume that all will soon be well?