loving christmas (part 2)
"We, for our part, love because He first loved us." —1 John 4:19
We cannot give love unless we first have received it. The Lord has poured out love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Rm 5:5). But have our hearts been open? Have we received the incarnate, crucified, infinite, unconditional love of God for each of us personally? The purpose of life and of Christmas is to receive the perfect love of God already given. Then, when we open and receive the gift of God's love, we can give it to others.
We open ourselves to the downpour of God's love by:
- going to Confession regularly. Sin has stopped us up; repentance opens us up.
- praying, especially praying the Mass. Remember, it's Christ-Mass time. When we continue to communicate with the Lord in the Mass, we open ourselves more deeply to His love.
- reading the Bible. God's word is like a two-edged sword which penetrates, divides, judges, and opens our hearts (see Heb 4:12).
- coming together in Jesus' name. Jesus promised He would be present in a special way when we gather in His name (Mt 18:20). In this presence, we tend to open up to His love.
Make this Christmas a "grand opening." Let yourself be loved. Live in His love (see Jn 15:10).
Prayer: Father, You are Love. May I live in You and live in love (1 Jn 4:16).
Promise: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; therefore He has anointed Me. He has sent Me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives." —Lk 4:18
Praise: As a young man, Earl studied the gospel of John. Jesus changed his life through the word. Now Earl writes monthly Bible studies and publishes religious magazines.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996