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Tuesday, January 4, 2005

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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

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

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"my three sons"

"Love, then, consists in this...that [God] has loved us and has sent His Son as an Offering for our sins." —1 John 4:10

I have three sons, and many of you have sons as well. When I look at God's love for us through His selfless offering of His own Son for our sins (1 Jn 4:10), I realize how far short I fall of the definition of love that God the Father reveals. I can't even conceive of a situation in which I would love a group of sinful and rebellious people enough to let one of my sons be born in a cave and placed in a manger, or be beaten and killed on their behalf.

"Yes, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life" (Jn 3:16). "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). "God is Love" (1 Jn 4:8), and "love is of God" (1 Jn 4:7). God says to you: "With age-old love I have loved you" (Jer 31:3). He wants you to "grasp fully...the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge" (Eph 3:18-19).

As the last week of the Christmas season concludes, look again at the Christ-Child, God's only Son, Who is the incarnate Love of God poured out into the world and into our hearts (Rm 5:5). "Live in His love" (Jn 15:10).

Prayer:  "Father, how wonderful Your care for us! How boundless Your merciful love! To ransom a slave You gave away Your Son" (from the Easter Vigil exultet).

Promise:  "Everyone who loves is begotten of God and has knowledge of God." —1 Jn 4:7

Praise:  St. Elizabeth educated countless children because of her faith in and love for one Child.

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