Friday, January 8, 2010

Driven by Love

Feast of Baptism of the Lord

What is the thing that you want most in life? Big car … good family … loving husband or a loving wife … filial children. Whatever it is you want most in life – that thing is the thing which you believe will bring the greatest happiness into your life. In other words, the thing which we want most in life is happiness. Pursuit of happiness is the driving force of life.

We work hard, we choose friends and the person we want to marry, we try to get good grades in school, good jobs – hoping that at the end of it all we will be happy. We try to please others hoping that they will come to accept us and love us. But let me tell you the truth – happiness is not something that we can achieve. Happiness is never the reward of doing something well. We can never buy happiness.

Rather, happiness is a gift from God. It is a gift freely given by God to those open to receive it. Happiness is knowing in the depths of one’s heart that one is truly loved by God. Happiness is knowing that we are loveable and that we are precious in the eyes of God. No matter how others may see us, no matter how others may judge us, nothing can change this single reality – we are loved by God.

This knowledge was the driving force behind Jesus. At his baptism, Jesus received this beautiful words from God the Father – “This is my Son, the Beloved, my favour rests on him.” Knowing that he was loved by his Father in heaven, Jesus began his mission to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God. Although he faced many setbacks, although he was criticized and hated by many people, although he was rejected by his own relatives and neighbours, although he was betrayed by his own disciples, Jesus never waivered in his resolve. Only one thing mattered to him – knowing that he was loved by God and nothing … absolutely nothing can change that. On the cross, in the midst of his pain and loneliness, Jesus was sustained by the knowledge of God’s love for him and that God will never abandon him at this moment of his greatest need.

This is what God wants to tell each of you: “You are my Son. You are my daughter. You are precious. I love you very much!!!” We don’t have to prove ourselves to God. We don’t have to show him that we are good or that we are perfect. God loves us in spite of our sins and weaknesses.

If we live each day with this knowledge of God’s love for us, we will not easily give up especially when we are faced with criticism from others. Whenever we celebrate the Mass, we are reminded again and again that we are loved by God. It was because of love, that God sent his only Son to die for us. Jesus, who gives his body and blood, is living proof of this. The mass is proof of God’s love. Because we are loved by God, let us now share this love with every other person.

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