Scripture Reading: 1 John 2: 15-17
Beloved in Christ, abundant life has to do with the spiritual aspect of man and his greatest problem – sin. Of course sin alienates us from the true meaning of abundant life. Our scriptural reference today says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the joy of the father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does, comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever”! Dear friend in Christ, abundant life therefore entails the following: First, life is life in Christ our Lord. He is the Vine, the source of life and just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son to have life in Himself. The Scripture says, “He who has the son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life! (1 John 5:12). The life, which Jesus has, He gives to us; and this life is eternal. No wonder St. Bernadette says, “Nothing is anything more to me; everything is nothing to me, but Jesus. Neither things nor persons, neither ideas nor emotion, neither honour, nor sufferings. Jesus is for me honour, delight of my heart and soul.” To enjoy abundant life, therefore, is to enter into a love relationship with the Son of God – Jesus Christ. For St. Paul says that we all are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves in Christ. (Gal. 3:26-27)
Second: abundant life is about forgiveness. The Scripture says that we have all missed the mark; we have failed to live, as we should. Jesus paid the debt for my sins and for yours; and graciously calls us to come to Him. This same call is echoed today to you, in the words of St. Peter in Acts2: 38: “Repent and but each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Third: abundant life is about righteousness. When by faith we are cleansed from our sins; God does not leave us naked, on our own. For the fact of our baptism, we are clothed with Christ’s righteousness, and God no longer looks at us as we are but sees us as His sons, clothed in the righteousness of Christ. No wonder St. Paul says to the Romans, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). Fourth: abundant life is about freedom. Freedom from sin, law and fear of death, condemnation, guilt and death. Jesus through His sacrificial death on the Cross has freed us so that we no longer live on our own terms, but on God’s terms. (Romans 6:18, 8:2) “For sin shall no longer be our master for we are no longer under the law but under grace.” (Romans 6:14).
Finally, abundant life is about salvation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Salvation is a gift of God by grace to those who believe. Salvation is deliverance from the righteous wrath of God, poured out at those who do not know God or do not obey the gospel. St. Paul says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9). You have abundant life when the promise of God that on the last days He would pour out His Spirit upon all mankind is being manifested in your life. If by any measure you are manifesting fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit then you are enjoying abundant life. Beloved in Christ, take note that abundant life is not measured by your earthly possessions, rather by the life of Christ that you have and share with others. St. John Eudes concludes today’s reflection with this advice, “Let us therefore give ourselves to God with a great desire to live thus, and beg him to destroy in us the life of the world of sin, and establish his life within us.”
- Take a worship song as you are led.
- Take the following prayers meditatively and seriously
- Daily Consecration to God
- Prayer of Spiritual Renewal
- Prayer of Self Surrender to God
- Take this prayer meditatively: “O Lord my God, I ask that your will be upon me. By the power of the resurrected Christ, I renounce every worldly attachment hindering me from enjoying the abundant life planned and established for me by God.” (Anoint yourself with blessed oil)
- Pray for all members of your Christian community that they may embrace the abundant life, which Christ gives.
Exercise: Take the prayer of St. Padre Pio.