The WORD in Other Words by Fr Titus Mananzan SVD (Philippines) for Thursday 29th Week in Ordinary Time
In the last SVD General Chapter, this word of God inspired us: “The Love of Christ impels us” (2 Cor 5:14). In the first reading, St. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian is that through the power of the Spirit we experience, “the depth, the width, the length and the height of Christ’s love for us….” It is imperative that we experience the love of the Lord in a personal way to inspire us to bring the Good News to all.
“Knowing” is different from “experiencing.” We know everything about salt (color, chemical composition, etc.) but if we have not tasted it, we don’t know what salt really is. An atheist can memorize the Bible but if he has no experience of God he will not believe.
I am blessed with several experiences of Christ’s love. When as when I was 3rd Year High School in the minor seminary at our annual retreat, the retreat master narrated to us the passion of Jesus Christ based on a book, The Doctor on Calvary. It deeply touched me and made me utterly remorseful. I asked the Lord why He had to die for me, a confessed sinner. I heard him say, because He loved me! Right there and then, I made a decision to become a priest. In my vocation journey, Jesus has always made me feel his unconditional love especially when I feel so down and discouraged because of my human weaknesses and sinfulness.
It will not be difficult to accept the challenge of Jesus in the Gospel reading if we have experienced his love.. St. Paul tells us that nobody can separate us from the love of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom.8: 38-39)
– Fr. Titus Mananzan, SVD (Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City)