Tuesday after the Epiphany

The second law of thermodynamics tells us that there can be no such thing as a “perpetual motion machine.”  A machine can’t keep running on its own power indefinitely; at some point it will have to stop running.  A power station can’t generate electricity without some kind of fuel to keep it going.  An engine that isn’t hooked up to a battery can’t power a car.  There has to be a constant energy source for a machine to keep running.

Our spiritual engines are no different.  We know this because Scripture tells us to “love one another, because love is of God” (1 John 4:7).  This means that we can’t love without being filled with God’s love.  We can’t share his compassion and mercy unless we are receiving them ourselves.  It’s humbling, and at the same time very liberating, to admit that God is the source of our goodness and kindness, not ourselves.

So how do we maintain our connection to God?  Well there are a number of ways, but chief among them is the Eucharist.  As the source and summit of our life in Christ, the celebration of the Mass is the place where Jesus is present most fully and where we can receive him most completely.  Yes, we also need to pray every day; we need to study the Scriptures; we need to have good relationships with others; we need to do good works.  But above all else, we need Jesus.

The good news is that Our Lord loves to meet our needs.  He is present to us in the physical form of bread and wine, showing us that he is our life, our strength, and our nourishment.  He lavishes us with grace as we gather to hear his word and celebrate his resurrection.  He pours out his power and guidance as we come together to worship him.  As St. Paul says: It is Our Lord’s own life within us that makes our lives shine.  (Colossians 1:27).

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