Sunday, December 03, 2006

First Sunday of Advent

Brothers and sisters:
May the Lord make you increase and abound in love
for one another and for all,
just as we have for you,
so as to strengthen your hearts,
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

A beautiful blessing we have received today. "May we increase and abound in love for one another and for all." It's a nice start for Advent, to help prepare us for the coming birth of our Lord and Savior. Each year we go through the preparations of our hearts to welcome Jesus. And each year we welcome many others into our lives as well.

We prepare our homes with finery to show the world we are awaiting a special birth at this time of year. We put on our best attitudes and we do things we normally do not do during the rest of the year. We become different, we turn to our neighbors with happiness.

But in this change are we seeking a gift from our neighbors, all because we are nice to them. This should not be what motivates our love for our neighbor in this season of preparedness. It should be genuine joy and happiness, but most especially love for one another.

Love those around you without expecting a package in return. Even if they do not love you back, you have given it with an open heart, one that welcomes our Lord without guile.

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