As we come the end of the first month of 2016, the readings remind us of how much God cares for his people. The reading from Jeremiah tells us that God knew us in the womb. Each of us is formed with a purpose and given a mission. However, because of free will, we can choose to accept that mission or reject it.
Our ultimate mission or purpose is to love. The beautiful reading from First Corinthians challenges us to love one another. Yet, do we understand love? For some, love is an emotion or feeling. We often confuse love with admiration or appreciation (“I love Adele’s music.” Or, “I love the color purple.”). The biblical concept of love goes far beyond mere admiration. Rather, love implies a deep connection or symbiotic relationship between two (or more) individuals. It is a recognition of the reverence that we have for the God who created us.
When I love someone, I see them as created in the image and likeness of God. That person helps me to be a better person and helps me to see the presence of God. Occasionally, I may be challenged by that person. He or she may even cause me to become angry or frustrated. But if I truly love them, I will recognize that they are looking out for my best interest and want me to become more God-like.
God truly loves us and wants us to succeed. In turn, we need to use our gifts and talents to make God’s presence known in the world around us. As you reflect on this week’s scriptures, ask yourself, “Have I been a prophet who promotes God’s love? And do I truly try to love each person with whom I come into contact by seeing them as being in the image and likeness of God?”