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Monday, December 27, 1999

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St. John

1 John 1:1-4
Psalm 97
John 20:2-8

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love supreme, infinite, and divine

"On the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away, so she ran off to Simon Peter and the other disciple (the one Jesus loved) and told them..." —John 20:1-2

St. John has been traditionally identified with "the beloved disciple" (Jn 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7). However, the Church has also interpreted John 19:26 to mean that the beloved disciple may not be specifically named to show that he represents all of Jesus' disciples for all times. All of Jesus' disciples are beloved. All of His disciples can have a miraculous, mysterious relationship with Him in the Eucharist (see Jn 13:23). All of Jesus' disciples must stand at the foot of the cross (Jn 19:26), deny themselves, and take up the cross each day (Lk 9:23). All of Jesus' disciples can and must believe in the risen Lord (Jn 20:2) and exclaim publicly: "It is the Lord!" (Jn 21:7)

Christmas is the season when all the beloved disciples are especially invited to become more aware of being the beloved of Christ. Most of us know that Jesus loves us. However, no one knows how much He loves us. If we were to fully realize "one-millionth" of His infinite love for us, we would be so shocked we would die. Nevertheless, during this Christmas season, let us grasp as fully as we can with our human limitations "the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge, so that (we) may attain to the fullness of God Himself" (Eph 3:18-19).

Prayer:  Father, at the Masses of this Christ-mas season, reveal more deeply in Your word Your Son's love for me.

Promise:  "This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon and our hands have touched — we speak of the Word of life." —1 Jn 1:1

Praise:  St. John's exhortation in his old age was: "Little children, love one another" (see 1 Jn 4:7).

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