“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Merry Christmas everyone! What a day filled with love, joy, and peace! I hope you have enjoyed and are still enjoying your families and friends brought together through Christ.
Today we focus on love of Jesus, the Light of the World and Word made flesh. If you haven't noticed, each post this week has not just talked about each person of the Trinity, Mary, and ourselves – they have been about the relationships we are called to have with each. I think for most people, it easiest to build that relationship with Jesus because he is the Savior and walked this earth with us. He is the reason we are saved from our sins and have life!
Even still, I want to emphasize that just knowing about Jesus is not enough. Reading his parables and mindlessly going to Mass are not enough. We truly are called to a deep, intimate relationship with him.
I listened to a professor once who said that we cannot truly catechize until we evangelize. In other words, we cannot really teach someone the faith until we have first taught them how to have a relationship with Jesus. Obviously the two go hand-in-hand, but he has a point – how often does someone's faith actually take root and come alive until they've had a personal encounter with Jesus? Not very often, if at all. Lots of people know facts about the Ten Commandments and can rattle off a few prayers from memorization in catechism class, but much less people truly know how to pray. Much less people have a truly active and living faith life that guides them every day.
Perhaps you already have a wonderful relationship with Jesus, and perhaps not. Maybe Mary has always been more relatable to you than Jesus. Wherever we're at we can always grow in our love of Christ.
And we must. Because what ultimately sets us apart from everyone else, from every other religion? Jesus. Which religious figure teaches mercy, equality, and love of the poor unlike anyone else? Jesus. Whose tomb is empty? Jesus'.
Which God actually became man and died out of love for humanity? Jesus.
Jesus is love. God is love. And he is the foundation of everything we are, everything we live for. We have no choice but to know Jesus more and love him more if we are to be lights in this world. And the good news is we encounter him constantly in one of two ways: 1) the Eucharist, and 2) the Word. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that we venerate the Word of God (the Bible) as we do the Eucharist, Jesus' flesh.
To grow in love of Jesus, to grow as Christians, we must receive him in the Eucharist and immerse ourselves in Scripture. We must imitate Our Lady and ponder them in our heart, integrating them into our lives.
Today we celebrate the birth of Christ. Let us also celebrate and commit to a new birth of Christ in our hearts, our souls – a renewed commitment to our baptism and life in him. And let us help those around us also give Christ a new beginning in their lives.
Again, Merry Christmas and God bless!
How have I experienced the love of Jesus in a personal way?
What can I do to be Christ's light in this world?
This year's study journal is broken into 4 parts.
To view each, please scroll to the middle of the above link