“The commandment we have from Him is this: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” –1 John 4:21

Most people like to think of themselves as loving others. Yet are we truly loving or just deceiving ourselves? We are loving if:

  • We are “beloved,” that is, we have first received God’s love (1 Jn 4:19).
  • We love God with all our hearts (1 Jn 5:2; Mt 22:37).
  • We obey God’s commandments (1 Jn 5:3).
  • We love ourselves (Mt 22:39).
  • We love the brothers and sisters we see in our everyday life (1 Jn 4:20).
  • We love our enemies (Mt 5:44).
  • The Spirit has poured out love in our hearts (Rm 5:5).

When we see what it means to be loving, we realize that not so many people are loving. Loving is not something we can do by our own power. We can’t “make love.” Loving is a gift, freely given by God to those willing to receive it.

Open your best Christmas gift, the gift of love, the gift of God, Who is Love (1 Jn 4:16).

PRAYER: Father, beginning this Christmas season, may I love those I have never loved before.

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, recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord.” –Lk 4:18-19

PRAISE: St. Raymond’s greatest work was on the sacrament of Penance. He also served as confessor to Pope Gregory IX.

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