“He is truly great, who has great charity.” (IC 1,3,6) “[W]hoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” (1 Jn 4:16)

With these words, Kempis (1,3) is countering those who puff themselves up through vain learning but know little or nothing of God and who are quickly forgotten after death despite receiving great esteem in life.  What is needed for true greatness, everlasting greatness, is charity or love.

Today’s first reading (1 Jn 4:11-18) is again from John’s first epistle on the love of God who Himself IS Love.  What does it mean to “remain in love”?  And how does one “remain in love”?  John explains in the previous verse: “Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God.”

This is a call to evangelization, is it not?  First, by living the message in loving everyone (John takes that on tomorrow in the continuation of this passage).  Then by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.  We should desire with all of our hearts to make the Lord known to all persons through our lives, our actions, and our words.  We are His chosen instruments in spreading the Word.

The recent theme that the school at which I work (St. Thomas University, Houston) has been promoting is, “Be your bold self.”  This is not more true than in our call to “make disciples of all” (Mt 28:19).  If I may borrow another line, this time from Matthew Kelly: “Be bold. Be Catholic.”


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