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Thursday, December 29, 2005
Today's Mass Reading: December 29, 2005

December 29, 2005
Fifty Day in the Octave of Christmas
Memorial of St. Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr

Today is the Fifth day in the Octave of Christmas and we continue to celebrate the birth of Our Savior in Bethlehem. I loved the first reading:

Beloved:The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him:whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked. Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness;he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 Jn 2:3-12)

Today's Gospel comes from Luke 2:22-35 when Christ was presented to Simeon in the temple. And it was this very instance that Jesus Christ did as He said He would - He fulfilled the law (c.f. Matthew 5:17). Our Lord did not come to destroy the Old Commandments, but He renewed and refined them. For this is how we are to love Him - keep His commandments. That is how we love Him.

Remember Our Lord's words: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). This word, perfect, occurs only in the Gospel of Matthew surprisingly, but the truth remains in all the Gospels. We must keep the Lord's Commandments. For the Commandments are summed up in two - Love the Lord with all of your heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as yourself (c.f. Matthew 22:37-40)


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