Our call to love is reiterated again for us today in the First Letter of John: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” (NAB, 1JN 4:7-8) If we wish to unite ourselves with God, then we must unite ourselves to love, and love is action.
We oftentimes think of romanticized love that conjures up all kinds of feelings and emotions, but love is action, putting another before ourselves. Love requires humility, where we recognize the inherent dignity of each other; we are, after all, each created in the image and likeness of Almighty God. Love implies commitment, dedication, and consistency. Even when one considers that moment of “falling in love,” it turns out not to be a moment at all. There isn’t one single thing that a person does for us that evokes such feelings and emotions. Rather, it is the consistent pattern of behavior over time that yields love; it is the continual presence and commitment of the other who is concerned for us and our wellbeing.
Jesus’ love for us isn’t a mere historical event or a single act revealed in a Roman execution. His love for us is continuous, without beginning or end. He is with us at every moment of each day. He continuously lays down his life for us, sustains us, showers us with his grace, gives us the gifts of the Spirit, comforts us, has mercy upon us, forgives us, and graciously blesses us in so many, many ways.
Lord, you call all people to yourself in love. It was this love which manifest itself so perfectly in your Holy and Sacred Passion, where you laid down your very life for me. Give me courage and strength through humility, that I may act according to your Holy Will, to love those whom you have put in my life, so that I may be more perfectly united to you. Amen.
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The Tenth Day of Christmas!
Not only was Jesus born into an earthly family to Mary and Joseph, he established, through his eternal saving act of redemption in the sacrificial paschal mystery, the very family of the Almighty, the Body of Christ, whose head he is. We are members of that same Family: “If you consider that God is righteous, you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness is begotten by him. See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” (NAB, 1JN 2:29-3:1)
We are truly brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, through him and in him, and thus we are begotten of God and are rightly called his children. This family of God is also the Body of Christ, his Church, which remains united with Jesus as one. Thus, the Church and Christ are one in unity, a unity in which we participate imperfectly as we grow in sanctity toward our final perfection, our heavenly reward. Unfortunately, we are plagued by the sins of humans, the Body of Christ suffers, just as any family is afflicted by the unloving behavior of its members. Yet, we still remain as children of Almighty God and are compelled to treat each other as brothers and sisters in the most intimate sense, united in one Lord and Savior, willing to sacrifice ourselves for each other in accordance with Covenant of Love.
Heavenly Father, I am your child and you love me beyond my comprehension. Whatever happens to me on my daily journey are providential opportunities for me to grow closer to you, to grow in holiness and perfection, and to be more like your Son, Jesus. Give me guidance and strength to help my brother and sister who is in need. When they fail or when they hurt, the whole Body suffers. Make me resolute in reaching out in faithful love to those whom you put in my path, that your will may be done and your Son glorified. Amen.
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