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Saturday, December 27, 2003

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St. John

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

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the christmas spirit of love

"Early in the morning 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)." —John 20:1-2

On this third day of Christmas, our true Love, Jesus, gives us the opportunity to contemplate the life of St. John, who is traditionally identified as the beloved disciple. In doing this, we will have "fellowship" with John and all the saints (1 Jn 1:3). In our communion with them, we abide in love and abide in God (1 Jn 4:16). Thus, on this third day of Christmas, our true Love gives us love and the grace to love so deeply that we abide in love forever.

We all desire to be loved and to love. Yet at the same time we desire to be selfish and thereby to confine ourselves to a prison of pride. We need the Holy Spirit, the true Christmas Spirit, for His desires are against our selfish, carnal desires (Gal 5:17). As the Holy Spirit will lead us to live our Baptisms to the full, He will convict us of our sinful capitulations to the demands of our selfishness (see Jn 16:8). Then He will use His wonderful gifts to produce in us the fruit of the Spirit, that is, love (Gal 5:22).

On this day of love, read and pray parts of John's Gospel, his three letters, and Revelation. Read, pray, and obey in the Spirit. Receive and give God's abiding love forever.

Prayer:  Father, in this Christmas season, lead me into a new dimension of love.

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. (This Life became visible; we have seen and bear witness to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was present to the Father and became visible to us.)" —1 Jn 1:1-2

Praise:  "On the Lord's day [John] was caught up in ecstasy" and saw the Lord Jesus in heaven (Rv 1:10).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003