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Thursday, November 11, 2004

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St. Martin of Tours

Philemon 7-20
Psalm 146
Luke 17:20-25

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love incarnate

"I find great joy and comfort in your love, because through you the hearts of God's people have been refreshed." —Philemon 7

One of God's primary ways of loving us is through people. Think of the person whose love has enabled you to know more deeply the love God has for you. This person has refreshed you through their love, bringing you "joy and comfort" (Phlm 7). When you were with this person, their love was so refreshing it was as though Jesus Himself was refreshing you (see Mt 11:28). When you look at their face, you know "God is Love" (1 Jn 4:8, 16).

"God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" (Jn 3:16).  His love for us was so intense that it became incarnate in Jesus, so that God could love us even more intimately by taking on human flesh. God has loved us through Jesus, and now His plan is that we "love one another" (Jn 13:34). So that we can carry out His loving plan, "the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit" (Rm 5:5). Now we are missionaries of God's love, actively seeking to refresh the hearts of friends and enemies (Mt 5:44) by our love.

May love "be the root and foundation of your life" (Eph 3:17). Through your love, may many people "be able to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge" (Eph 3:18-19).

Prayer:  Father, thank You for the people You send into my life to love and refresh me with Your love. May I in return bring Your love into many lives.

Promise:  "The reign of God is already in your midst." —Lk 17:21

Praise:  St. Martin's love was the foundation upon which the first monastery in Europe was founded, thus preserving faith and civilization.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004