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Sunday, January 2, 2000

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Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
Psalm 72
Matthew 2:1-12

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herod understood

The wise men "from the east arrived one day in Jerusalem inquiring, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We observed His star at its rising and have come to pay Him homage.' At this news King Herod became greatly disturbed, and with him all Jerusalem." —Matthew 2:1-3

Herod understood the significance of Jesus' birth. He knew that he had to join the wise men and "go and offer Him (Jesus) homage too" (Mt 2:8). Jesus' birth means we must either surrender our lives to Jesus or declare war on Him. We either live no longer for ourselves but for Him (2 Cor 5:15), or we make a violent, pathetic attempt to keep Jesus from living any longer. We die to self (see Jn 12:24) or try to make Him die.

Herod understood that the consequences of Jesus' birth would be Calvary. In love for "the newborn King of the Jews" (Mt 2:2) and of the world, we will decide to be crucified to the world (Gal 6:14) or decide to crucify the King of the world. There's not enough room in this world for my ego and the incarnate Son of God. One of us has got to go.

Dethrone yourself and enthrone Jesus as your King, Savior, and Lord. Be a wise man or woman. Otherwise you will have no choice other than to be a Herod. Be one of the wise men and women. Prostrate yourself and humble yourself before Jesus (Mt 2:11; 23:12). Happy Epiphany!

Prayer:  "Lord, every nation on earth will adore You" (Psalm response).

Promise:  "Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears His glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance." —Is 60:1-3

Praise:  Praise Jesus "manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit; seen by the angels; preached among the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up into glory" (1 Tm 3:16). Alleluia!

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