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Friday, December 29, 2000

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St. Thomas Becket

1 John 2:3-11
Psalm 96
Luke 2:22-35

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the christmas carol of love and death

"The way we can be sure..." —1 John 2:3, 5

One of the first Christmas carols was proclaimed forty days after Jesus' birthday by Simeon as he held the Baby Jesus. Simeon "blessed God in these words: 'Now, Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word. For my eyes have witnessed Your saving deed' " (Lk 2:28-30). The Church has chosen this very early Christmas carol to be her daily night prayer. The Lord wants us to be totally in love with Him so that we are ready, willing, and desiring to die at any time — even during this night. The Lord wants us to be able to say: " 'Life' means Christ; hence dying is so much gain" (Phil 1:21).

Are you ready to die right now, and therefore are you ready to live? You can be sure that your relationship with the Lord is right if you:

  • "keep His commandments" (1 Jn 2:3; Jn 15:10), and
  • conduct yourself as Jesus did (1 Jn 2:6).

Those who obey, talk, think, walk, work, buy, love, and live as Jesus does will die in Christ and therefore live forever with Him.

Christmas is a perfect time to make sure our relationship with the Lord is total, deep, and becoming even deeper. Let us "be sure we are in union with Him" (1 Jn 2:5) and ready to die in His love.

Prayer:  Jesus, teach me to love by Your standards.

Promise:  "My eyes have witnessed Your saving deed displayed for all the peoples to see: a revealing light to the Gentiles, the glory of Your people Israel." —Lk 2:30-32

Praise:  St. Thomas spent his energy defending the rights of the Church against the state and, because of his faithful stand, eventually gave up his life in martyrdom.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000