A Singular Word

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It may seem strange to celebrate the feast of the Apostle John during the Christmas season. Wouldn’t Easter be a better fit? Yet the message of the incarnation and the resurrection is singular: love always wins. The devil does not have the last word, and death is not the last word. God has the last word, and it is the same word God spoke in the beginning: love.  

Our world needs that love more than ever. What are we to do in the midst of racism, of war, of bigotry? What are we to do when people are unjust and unkind? We are called to love. As St. John of the Cross says: “Where you do not find love, put love; and you will draw out love.”  

As Christians, we put love where we have not received it. And we will ultimately draw out love, if not in this life then in eternal life. Love does not die. Love is the last word. We will continue to live forever with that in our minds and in our hearts.  

When we experience bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, or hatred, we are called to absorb it, transform it, and give back kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, and love. That is how we live the incarnation and resurrection. That is why we celebrate Eucharist at least weekly—to receive Christ in the consecrated bread and wine so that we can have the strength to love in all the little moments, even when we experience pain or betrayal.  

We celebrate the incarnation and the resurrection messages with a singular word: love. And God has the last word.  

© Liturgical Press.

Fr. Brendan McGuire

Brendan McGuire is pastor of St. Simon Parish, Los Altos, California, and author of a book of Sunday homilies, Weaving the Divine Thread.

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