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Love (December 2009)
Tuesday, December 01, 2009

An orphanage in Kawambwa, Zambia. (Kenneth J. Gavin, S.J. - JRS/USA)

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…

In July of this year, Pope Benedict XVI published an encyclical letter to “all people of good will.” Caritas in Veritate, or Charity in Truth, reflects on the theme of social development – and it’s silent partner, social isolation – in our ever-more interconnected world. As we recall God’s love during this Advent season,Charity in Truth is an apt place to reflect upon the Church’s social doctrine of charity, which is itself rooted in love.


Reflections for Prayer
Reflection

Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelled out by that doctrine is derived from charity, which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (Matthew 22:36- 40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbor; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones).

For the Church, instructed by the Gospel, charity is everything because, as Saint John teaches (1 John 4:8, 16) and as I recalled in my first Encyclical Letter, “God is love” (Deus Caritas Est): everything has its origin in God's love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it.

Love is God's greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope.

Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate


Suggested Reading for Prayer

Luke 2:4-14

Joseph went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.

The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."