Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. ~1 John 3:18
In our first reading today we have a selection from John’s first letter. In this scripture we have a clear teaching on how we might go forward into this young, new year with confidence.
In the reading, the author makes a strong case for a simple message: it’s all about love. If we have true love in our hearts for one another all will be well. But we must not carry this love as a hidden, secret thing. We are called to live out this love in our lives. This love is to be expressed and experienced constantly. And if we somehow falter, we need only to turn back to the love the Christ shows to us. This will help us rekindle the flame that may burn low in the trials of daily life.
So how do we show this love? There thousands of different moments (86,400 seconds, to be exact) throughout the day where we can pause in our own agendas and give someone else our time or attention. To those close to us it may be as simple as doing a chore that is on another’s to do list. Or bringing them an unasked-for cup of tea.
But what of the dozens of people I encounter as I go through my life that I will never see again? Can I slow down enough to acknowledge them, to truly thank them for their help? Can I share a little bit of who I am with them and inquire and listen to who they are?
Opening ourselves up to another and sharing our presence can be a great kindness in this busy world. It can remind us that we are all on this journey together. Slowing down and giving of themselves is the gift that both the shepherds and the Magi gave.
I pray that as I continue through this Christmas season I take the time to show love to my sisters and brothers by my true presence.
Talib Huff is a lay member of the retreat team at Christ the King Retreat Center in Citrus Heights. He may be reached at [email protected].