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Friday, December 31, 2004

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Pope St. Sylvester I

1 John 2:18-21
Psalm 96
John 1:1-18

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the end of another year of love

"Of His fullness we have all had a share — love following upon love." —John 1:16

Three hundred and sixty-six days this year, Jesus offered Himself to you in the Eucharist. The Word became flesh (Jn 1:14) and made Himself lovingly available in case you wanted Him. To you, who are "His own, He came" (Jn 1:11). Three hundred and sixty-six days this year, Jesus, "the Word" (Jn 1:1), made His holy word available to you. His love letters to you, the Bible, were constantly present to you in case you wanted to listen to Him. Three hundred and sixty-six days this year, Jesus made sure that your lungs kept breathing, your heart kept beating, your body kept functioning. Jesus was always thinking of you this year, staying faithfully with you (Mt 28:20), constantly loving you. It could have been a year of "love following upon love" (Jn 1:16) for you, if you accepted His love.

This year, 2004, has now come to "the final hour" (1 Jn 2:18). At the end of the year, Jesus, "the End" (Rv 22:13), stands waiting for you, in case you want Him.

Notwithstanding all Jesus did for us, the year 2004 is best measured by what Jesus received from us. When Jesus looks for the fruit of holiness, evangelization, and service in your life this year, will He find any? (Lk 13:6; Mt 21:34) If your life falls short, come before Jesus right now and give yourself to Him anew. As He did with the good thief (Lk 23:40-43), Jesus can do wondrous miracles in "the final hour." With Jesus, "all's well that ends well."

Prayer:  Father, thank You for pouring out Your love into my heart (Rm 5:5). I love You with all my heart (Lk 10:27).

Promise:  "You have the anointing that comes from the Holy One, so that all knowledge is yours." —1 Jn 2:20

Praise:  Pope St. Sylvester shared in God's fullness by serving the Church at a time when State persecutions were ending and State protection was beginning.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004