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Monday, December 29, 2003

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St. Thomas Becket

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

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christmas love and evangelization

"Now, Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word. For my eyes have witnessed Your saving Deed." —Luke 2:22-35

Most people associate Christmas with love. All of us like to think of ourselves as being loving. Most people even say that love is the meaning of life. But what is love?

Love is not necessarily a feeling. It is not usually expressed in sexual attraction or sexual relations. It is not merely being nice to people or doing good deeds for others.

Love is the nature of God, for God is Love (1 Jn 4:8,16). Love is a share in the divine nature. It is a theological virtue. It is both a gift and a commandment (see 1 Jn 4:19-21). Love is a way of life. We must abide in it (1 Jn 4:16). Love is usually expressed in actions, but not in random, miscellaneous actions. Love is primarily concerned about others' greatest need: to be saved and sanctified.

Therefore, if we don't share our faith in Jesus, it would be difficult to maintain that we are loving. For example, if we have food but don't give it to a starving person, how can we be loving? If we have faith but don't give it to a person away from God, how can we be loving? Most practically, love means caring enough to share our faith in Jesus with as many people as possible.

Prayer:  Father, this Christmas time, send the Holy Spirit to make me a loving person by Your standards.

Promise:  "The man who continues in the light is the one who loves his brother; there is nothing in him to cause a fall." —1 Jn 2:10

Praise:  St. Thomas was impelled by love (2 Cor 5:14) to endure exile and eventually death in defense of the truth.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Love on audio AV 58-1 or video V-58.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003