are you loving?
"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. But 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." —Lk 4:18
Praise: Instead of filing a complaint against a co-worker who harassed her for years, Edie asked God for an increase of the Holy Spirit to be able to love this individual. She was able to eventually reconcile peacefully with her persecutor.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001