“Remain in [Jesus].” –1 John 2:27

During Advent, we opened our hearts to be ready to receive Jesus. We grew ever closer to Him. After the world-changing, calendar-defining, cosmos-altering birth of Jesus, we flocked to Church to receive Jesus in a deeper way at Christmas. Now it is more than a week past Christmas. Numerous people are packing away the ornaments and taking down the Christmas tree, even though the Christmas season still has another week liturgically. Today’s first reading from 1 John challenges us to “remain in” Jesus (1 Jn 2:27) rather than packing Him away until next Advent.

The worst possible condition for a human being is to not remain in Jesus after having truly received Him. “When men have fled a polluted world by recognizing the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than their first. It would have been better for them not to have recognized the road to holiness than to have turned their backs on the holy law handed on to them, once they had known it” (2 Pt 2:20-21).

Scripture reveals to us that it is possible to lose our faith and “fall away from [our] sincere and complete devotion to Christ” (2 Cor 11:3). Therefore, beg the Lord for the grace to always “remain in Him” (1 Jn 2:28). In this last week of the Christmas season, don’t discard Jesus along with the wrapping paper. Worship Him with the wise men and women of all ages (see Mt 2:11). “If what you heard from the beginning does remain in your hearts, then you in turn will remain in the Son and in the Father” (1 Jn 2:24).

PRAYER: Father, give me the grace to “turn now ten times the more to seek” You (Bar 4:28).
PROMISE: “He Himself made us a promise and the promise is no less than this: eternal life.” –1 Jn 2:25
PRAISE: St. Gregory wrote of St. Basil, “We shared the same lodging, the same table, the same desires, the same God.”

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