August 3 - 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Rom 8: 35, 37-39
“What will separate us from the love of Christ?” No earthly trial or difficulty can separate us from the love Christ has for us. For that love is infinite, far greater than any earthly threat. And that love has been extended to us and invaded our hearts. God demonstrated His infinite love for us when He gave up His only Son to redeem us from the grips of sin and evil (Rom 8: 32). Jesus, the Son, expressed that same infinite love for us when He became human and embraced the extreme suffering of crucifixion to save us from condemnation; Now glorified He is at the right hand of God interceding for us (Rom 8:34). “In all these things (anguish, distress, persecution, famine and danger to life itself) we conquer overwhelmingly through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:37). Like the martyrs, we are victorious over all of these trials “because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom 5:5). We possess that very love of God in our own hearts which moves us to love God heroically—like St. Paul did. He was totally enraptured by God’s amazing love for himself and for us in Christ. That amazing love kept him going tirelessly. He was empowered by that endless love to endure every kind of suffering and trial imaginable. (See 2 Cor 11: 23-28) But they never broke Paul. For example, when in Lystra he was stoned, dragged out of the city and left for dead; but he got up and re-entered the city (Acts 14: 19-20). The astounding love of God in Jesus sustained Paul. He was utterly grateful that God’s powerful love had saved him from his sinfulness (Tit 3:3-6), and he could not stop proclaiming to all the world that same love that God has for each of us in Christ. God’s boundless love for Paul and for us sinners was totally reciprocated by Paul’s unrestrained love for God in Christ. It toppled over every obstacle that got in his way. As St. Paul put it, “the love of Christ impels us” (2 Cor 5:14). That is what God’s love in Christ is capable of doing in each one of us.