The Overwhelming Power of God's Love
“accompanying … provided for them.…”
This Gospel passage about the Galilean women follows the story of the sinful woman who loves much because much has been forgiven her. We are told that because of her deep love for Jesus she anoints his feet; she has accepted God’s forgiveness and her heart overflows in response. In a way that story of responding to God’s love, forgiveness, and healing continues here.
These women accompany and provide for Jesus and the disciples in response to the invitation to love. All these women have a story—we know, for example, that Mary Magdalene was freed from seven demons. They have each experienced firsthand God’s love, forgiveness, and healing in such an overwhelming way that their hearts are flooded with a desire to love in response.
In Adeste, a Christmas song written by our sisters, a line says, “what can I give him, the Lord of creation?” The response is, “hearts that are eager to love without measure, to Bethlehem’s poor child are presents of gold.” We too are faced with the question of how to respond to God’s love.
Luke’s Gospel is vague on exactly what these women provided—and what a gift this vagueness is. It doesn’t so much matter how what they did, as that they did it. As in the song, God is asking us to respond to his love by loving through thoughts, words, and actions. The women in today’s Gospel answer the call to love by accompanying and providing for Jesus and the disciples. Each of us lives this love and service in different ways, whether we are married, single, or in the consecrated life. Yet we all do this in response to and as witnesses of God’s love in our lives.
Jesus, each day you flood me with your love and innumerable blessings. You have carried me when I have been at my lowest points and danced with me when I have rejoiced. My heart overflows with the love with which you have filled it. May I this day allow this love, the love you have given me, to flow over to others that they, too, may find you and praise you. Give me the grace to serve my brothers and sisters as you invite me to love them unreservedly, just as you love me. Amen.
Jesus Life, may my presence bring grace and consolation everywhere!
Daughters of St. Paul. (2011). Ordinary Grace Weeks 18–34: Daily Gospel Reflections. (M. G. Dateno & M. L. Trouvé, Eds.) (pp. 128–129). Boston, MA: Pauline Books & Media.