“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I dedicated you.” These words from the Prophet Jeremiah begin our Liturgy of the Word today and may be familiar to many of us as they are the mantra or the foundational words of the pro-life movement. In the rich tradition of the Catholic Church we believe that God created each of us, allowing our parents to be active members in creation, bringing forth life and each life is sacred. We take life for granted all too often, complaining about the little things such as the weather, our jobs, or our aches and pains. We fail to thank God for all the countless blessings He pours out upon us, we fail to remember His great love.
St. Paul speaks of love in our second reading from 1 Corinthians. This passage is also familiar to many of us as we know the famous passage; “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” These beautiful words provide a definition of love and a way of life. We struggle to fulfill these words because of our pride and selfishness but we work hard to let these words guide our thoughts, words, and actions. We can use these words to examine our conscience every day; have I lived these words? Have my actions brought these words to life? If not, forgive me Lord and help me to listen to the Holy Spirit so I can better reflect the words St. Paul handed on to us. Every day the Lord offers us a blank canvas and asks us to create a painting, one where we can see love in action. Some days are filled with busyness while others are sedentary. Yet in each we can bring forth God’s Love if we stay close to Him and invite Him to journey with us, to guide our hand on this canvas we are painting. We see many dark examples of lives without love; no joy is present in them, they are full of pain and hurt or pride and selflove. So be an example of the brightness and freshness of God’s Love; be a beacon of light in the world of darkness and draw others to God through your example.
Remember the words of the Prophet Jeremiah; “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I dedicated you.” See, He has called each of us to go forth and reflect His Light! He has dedicated you to be His Light and Love, so go forth!