Commentary on the Gospel of
Thirst for God is universal – even when it appears that the world is fast becoming God-less. When people encounter someone who has an authentic footprint of God, they do recognize it – as the First Reading speaks of nations flocking to God’s people with the refrain: “We want to go with you for we have heard that God is with you.” “God is with us,” so joyfully affirms the Psalmist in the Responsorial Psalm for the day.
Can you and me confidently say that those who meet us would look at us and say those very same words: “We want to go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” Unfortunately, many people come to us Christians because we run institutions, offer good administration, and engage in a variety of social services. These are commendable reasons, but the primary reason for people to come to us should ideally be that they experience God’s presence in us. We must be men and women of God in whom people see God. Jesus remarked: “One who sees me, sees the Father who sent me” (Jn 12:45). St. Paul wrote: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). Since God is love, the most effective way to make God visible in us is through our Godly loving. Jesus said, “By this all will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” (Jn 13:35). The attitude of James and John toward the Samaritans who refused lodging for Jesus is a counter-witness to love, and hence to God. Therefore, Jesus rebuked them.
Today we honor the memory of St. Therese of Lisieux, the doctor of the Church who made love the cardinal mantra in life. Love is the face of God. We shall learn from her how to be the face of God.
Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF