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Thursday, December 30, 1999

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1 John 2:12-17
Psalm 96
Luke 2:36-40

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"Have no love for the world, nor the things that the world affords." —1 John 2:15

Some people throughout history thought that "not loving the world" meant that created things, pleasure, the human body, marital sexual relations, and even people were bad. The Church has repeatedly tried to correct this mistaken idea. Then many people have over-reacted to this correction by embracing worldly ways. Thus, we may have been seduced by the evil one into buying into this "culture of death."

If we are set upon the things of the world, we are enemies of the cross (Phil 3:18-19). If we are friends of the world, we are enemies of God (Jas 4:4). Therefore, we must repent by rejecting the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the vanity of life (1 Jn 2:16, our transl). We must live our baptismal promises by rejecting Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises.

Originally, Christians celebrated Christmas to compete with the pagan sun-god festival. The first celebrations of Christmas were intentionally set up to challenge certain worldly customs. The Christian Christmas eventually put the world out of business. However, the world is back in business. Our job is to again show the world to be the wasteland it is.

"Have no love for the world" (1 Jn 2:15). Invite others to be crucified to the world and the world to them (Gal 6:14). Put the world out of business.

Prayer:  Father, may my relationship with the world be the same as Jesus' relationship with it (see Jn 15:19-20).

Promise:  "She was constantly in the temple, worshiping day and night in fasting and prayer." —Lk 2:37

Praise:  Jesus healed Ramon of terminal cancer of the esophagus.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999