“We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another.” These words from today’s first reading contain an ancient wisdom which brings energy and the promise of new possibilities for the Christmas season. This is the result of God’s definitive love for all peoples in Christ. What St. Paul referred to as “the unfathomable riches of Christ” are now to be our companions on our earthly journey of loving service and witness.
Several learned saints have commented on this “new future.” St. Augustine said it quite directly: “Love….and do what you will.” St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out that love/charity is the animating soul of all other virtues. St. Paul wrote in 1 Cor 13 words familiar to many of us: “Now there remain these three–faith, hope, and love….and the greatest of these is love.” And St. John of the Cross wisely wrote: “At the end of our life we will be judged by the quality of our love.”
Insights such as these have prepared us well for living a deeply satisfying journey with the Holy Family.
—Fr. Walter J. Stohrer, SJ, is a member of the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, WI.