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Tuesday, January 7, 1997

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St. Raymond of Penyafort

1 John 4:7-10
Psalm 72
Mark 6:34-44

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the feast of christmas

"You give them something to eat." —Mark 6:37

"Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God" (1 Jn 4:7). "The man without love has known nothing of God, for God is Love" (1 Jn 4:8). "Beloved, if God has loved us so, we must have the same love for one another" (1 Jn 4:11). Jesus said: "This is how all will know you for My disciples: your love for one another" (Jn 13:35). If we have not love, we are nothing (1 Cor 13:2).

Do you love Jesus? Then feed His sheep (Jn 21:17), physically and spiritually. Feed people with God's word, for "not on bread alone is man to live but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God" (Mt 4:4). "Teach them at great length" (Mk 6:34). Proclaim God's word "in any and every way" (Phil 1:18), "whether convenient or inconvenient" (2 Tm 4:2). Do your best to feed people with the nourishment of God's word. Even if your work seems inadequate, the Lord will multiply it to feed the masses (see Mk 6:41ff).

Christmas is a celebration, a feast. Feed the nourishment of God's word to those who are spiritually starving. Give to others the Word of life, the Bread of Life (Jn 6:35), the Christ of Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, may the Christmas cards, greetings, celebrations, and presents I give to others be spiritually nourishing.

Promise:  "Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God but that He has loved us and has sent His Son as an Offering for our sins." —1 Jn 4:10

Praise:  Raymond heard the Pope's confessions. He once assigned the Pope a penance of immediately receiving, hearing, and carrying out all the prayer requests presented by the poor.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996