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Saturday, December 29, 2007

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St. Thomas Becket

1 John 2:3-11
Psalm 96
Luke 2:22-35

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w. w. j. d. ?

"The way we can be sure we are in union with Him is for the man who claims to abide in Him to conduct himself just as He did." —1 John 2:5-6

There is a popular bracelet worn by young Christians these days. It bears the letters "W. W. J. D. ?" ("What Would Jesus Do?") Many teenagers wear this bracelet as a reminder to conduct themselves daily just as Jesus did (1 Jn 2:5-6). It is their way of taking to heart Jesus' words and binding them on their wrist as a sign of how to live (see Dt 6:6-8). This is an excellent way to begin a life of discipleship.

The writer of 1 John knew that by imitating the conduct of Jesus, we would have certain knowledge of our union with Him. This is true because Jesus conducted Himself in a way that is humanly imitation-proof; that is, His conduct is so high above our ways (Is 55:8-9) that no human being can imitate His conduct without His grace to live according to the Spirit (see Rm 8:5).

When people try to keep Jesus' commandments and follow Him without totally committing their lives to Him as His imitators (i.e., His disciples), Jesus will eventually ask something of them impossible according to the flesh. It will always involve "rising early" each morning to pray (Mk 1:35), carrying a daily cross (Lk 9:23), loving our enemies (Mt 5:44), and complete obedience to the will of God (Lk 22:42). Sometimes this may even involve selling all we have and giving it to the poor (see Mt 19:21-22), giving up our home (Lk 9:58), or living a celibate life (Mt 19:12). Jesus will give us the grace to imitate Him. Follow Him now.

Prayer:  Father, thank You for sending Jesus as my Example. I will "follow in His footsteps" (1 Pt 2:21).

Promise:  "Whoever keeps His word, truly has the love of God been made perfect in him." —1 Jn 2:5

Praise:  St. Thomas returned to his archdiocese even at the risk of his life, just as Jesus would have done.

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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