"Christ, the Good Shepherd" (detail) by Murillo

“Christ, the Good Shepherd” (detail) by Murillo

“And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He who says ‘I know him’ but disobeys his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:3-6).

We all know people who say one thing, but do another. Truth is, all of us are guilty at times of failing to practice what we preach. Most of us value integrity in our friends so we should also strive to be honest.

When we reflect on the great and undeserved gift that is the Christ Child, we should be all the more motivated to live according to all He has taught us. He has redeemed us at a great price. To love the Lord is to abide in Him. He who is Truth has called us to that truth. To say that we love Jesus while we do not value obeying His commands is to be untruthful.

“…he who says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”

In this fallen life, we are, except by grace, more inclined to sin than goodness. But Jesus desires to pour out His grace upon us so that we will desire goodness more than sin… God more than self. We can walk in the same way in which He walked. All we have to do is to desire it, to will it, and to open our hearts to His grace. That means that we surrender our will to God, for we are not able to attain goodness, much less perfection, except by His power.

So, walk with the Lord, abide in Truth, and you will never be alone.

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Deacon Bickerstaff is available to speak at your parish or event. Be sure to check out his Speaker Page to learn more. Into the Deep is a regular feature of the The Integrated Catholic Life™.

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