The second candle in the Advent wreath represents love. In our culture, it seems as if love can mean so many things. For example, we say we love food or we love a tv show. We also love our family, our friends, our pets, and so on. With so many meanings of love, how do we really know what love means? St. Thomas Aquinas says that to love means to will the good of the other. True love means to choose to love the other person. Married couples understand this well; love is desiring the best for the other person, even after the feelings of romance or newness have come and gone. As we wait in this Advent season, we wait for the purest, most perfect example of love: Jesus. Jesus, in His death on the cross, chose to love us, even as He felt deep sorrow and pain. He desires what is best for us, and wills our good. He gave us the gift of Confession for this reason, knowing our sin leads us to do things that are not for our good. He desires nothing more than our freedom from sin because He wants our good. Jesus is the perfect example of love, and in this Advent season, He is calling us to understand His love deeper. How can you love Jesus more? Two ways are through prayer and service. Sitting in Eucharistic Adoration is one of the best ways to experience the love of Jesus. There, we have the chance to go before Our Lord in the Eucharist and spend time with Him, letting Him love us as we love Him. We can also love well by serving others. Some ways to serve this season include donating extra money to a local charity, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or calling a family member in a nursing home. In all of these actions, we are practicing the virtue of love in that we are choosing the good of the other person. The more we practice and grow in love, the more we love like Jesus. Let’s wait for love this season by eagerly waiting for the birth of Love Himself.
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