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Monday, December 20, 1999

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Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24
Luke 1:26-38

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"o come, o come immanuel?"

"The virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son, and shall name Him Immanuel." —Isaiah 7:14

One of the greatest prophecies in the history of the human race is Isaiah's prophecy of "Immanuel." This does not merely mean that God is present but that God is human (see Mt 1:23). "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us" (Jn 1:14). God became a man. Immanuel is Jesus, Who is God incarnate, crucified, risen, glorified, and even eucharistic. Immanuel is Jesus, a Sign as "deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!" (Is 7:11) Immanuel is Jesus, the Sign of contradiction for the downfall and rise of many (Lk 2:34, our transl).

Will you accept Immanuel? When Mary accepted Immanuel, her life dramatically changed. She put herself in danger of being divorced by Joseph (Mt 1:19) and of even being strangled or stoned to death as an adulteress. After Mary accepted Immanuel, she gave birth in a barn (Lk 2:7), had to suddenly flee to Egypt in the night (Mt 2:14), and eventually stood at the foot of the cross of her Son (Jn 19:25). Will you accept Immanuel and totally give your life to Him? "To His own He came, yet His own did not accept Him. Any who did accept Him He empowered to become children of God" (Jn 1:11-12).

Prayer:  Father, I am Your slave. Let it be done to me according to Your word (Lk 1:38).

Promise:  "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you." —Lk 1:35

Praise:  "O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at Your will the gate of heaven: come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead Your captive people into freedom."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999