How appropriate it is to talk about love in the weeks following Christmas. In the reading of the gospel for December 31, John starts with the true beginning of Jesus, even before his birth in human form. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (Jn1:1-18)
In addition, the first readings for daily Mass in the Octave of Christmas and during the week of Epiphany are taken primarily from the first letter of John, which focuses on love. Probably the most powerful of all the readings is from the fourth chapter of John’s first letter, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only-begotten Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.”
Pope Francis has declared this year starting on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Jubilee Year of Mercy. What better way to approach being merciful as to love as Jesus told us to love; “Love one another as I have loved you.” After all, GOD IS LOVE.
May you have a blessed New Year full of mercy and love.
Deacon Greg Beckel