Through The New Testament in a Year

The Redeeming Power of Love – John 21

The Redeeming Power of Love – John 21

No doubt this is why Peter, perhaps more than any other disciple, knew the powerful truth that “love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) It is not because love blinds us to one another’s sins. It is because through our love for one another, but most especially through our love for the Lord, we become transformed, conformed to His image. Love, says St. Thomas Aquinas, conforms the lover to the beloved. As we express our love for God in acts of service, humility and affection we become increasingly like Him , our sinful nature is increasingly redeemed by Him and the wounds brought about by our sins begin to find healing.

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Eyes to See – John 20

Eyes to See – John 20

Peter Kreeft says “in regard to nature, the highest stage of knowledge is knowledge. But in regard to God and his images, the highest stage of knowledge is love. We know God and man only by loving them.” So often, like Thomas, we try to understand and to know God by seeking information and evidence or grasping arguments about him. While these have their value, at the end of the day they cannot actually help us know God personally and see him as He actually is. We can only truly come to know God if we open ourselves up to Him in love.

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The Gift of Divine Mercy – John 19

The Gift of Divine Mercy – John 19

From the moment Jesus was lanced by the soldier’s spear, pouring blood and water from his pierced heart, we have recognized that it was from this very wound that the promised fount of mercy flowed. This wound immediately became the most graphic image of everything that he was doing for us on the cross: his body given and his blood poured out “for us and for our salvation”.

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God’s gift of Glory – John 17

God’s gift of Glory – John 17

But perhaps, for me, the greatest glory of all is that he did this for me and for you, that we might share in his Glory, or as he says earlier, “That where I am , there you might be also”. The last words of his high priestly prayer convey Jesus’ and the Father’s deepest intention.

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The Serious Business of Heaven – John 16

The Serious Business of Heaven – John 16

Was not Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta an unforgettable witness of true Gospel joy in our time?…In one of her writings, we read: “We wait impatiently for paradise, where God is, but it is in our power to be in paradise even here on earth and from this moment. Being happy with God means loving like him, helping like him, giving like him, serving like him” (The Joy of Giving to Others, 1987, p. 143). Yes, joy enters the hearts of those who put themselves at the service of the lowly and poor. God abides in those who love like this and their souls rejoice. (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)

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The Vocation to Love – John 15

The Vocation to Love – John 15

Notice, however, the command is not just to stay. It is to stay in His love. Allow the truth of His steadfast, unfailing love to become your ultimate reality as opposed to the variables and insecurities that plague our lives. So often we seek peace and a lack of conflict or uncertainty as an assurance of God’s love. But the real challenge is to learn to speak the truth of God’s love and hold fast to that truth in midst of such conflict and uncertainty.

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God’s Unfailing Promises – John 14

God’s Unfailing Promises – John 14

Both of these promises are for everyone, for everyone is invited to put their trust in him. However, the promises are able to be fulfilled only in those who love him: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and He will…” give you another Counselor, to be with you forever. Note that the love required is not mere affection or sentimentality, but obedience. William Barclay wrote correctly, “”To John there is only one test of love and that is obedience. It was by obedience that Jesus showed his love for God ; and it is by our obedience that we must show our love for Jesus”.”

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A Fragrant Life – John 12

A Fragrant Life – John 12

Mary is certainly, by anticipation, the first Easter Person, the person we are all meant to be, the person whose great gratitude overflows daily in extravagant acts of love for our Lord, the beauty of which “fill the house with their fragrance.” May the beauty of her example inspire us and may our lives be likewise filled with exuberant, extravagant, and fragrant acts of love for Jesus.

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