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Thursday, December 21, 2000

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St. Peter Canisius

Song of Songs 2:8-14 or
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Psalm 33
Luke 1:39-45

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contradicting the contrary

"The winter is past." —Song of Songs 2:11

On the first day of winter in the Northern hemisphere, the Church proclaims the opposite end of winter. The Church is contrary because it is the body of Christ, Who is a Sign of Contradiction (Lk 2:34). Jesus' ways are not man's ways (Is 55:8). In fact, often "what man thinks important, God holds in contempt" (Lk 16:15).

The Lord seems to be contrary to us because we are sinful, and therefore we are contrary to God's will. The Lord is contrary to our sin, selfishness, unforgiveness, self-destruction, and self-deception. He is contrary to our contrariness.

The Lord and the Church contradict our contrariness to prepare us for Christmas when the Lord will contradict our consumerism with His poverty, our cacophony with His silence, our business with His quiet, and our selfishness with His love. The Lord doesn't fit into the modern Christmas, or rather many times we don't fit into His idea of Christmas, life, and love. Let's have a Christ-Christmas "just like the way it used to be" — a Christmas of contradiction when God was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

Prayer:  Father, I repent of my stubbornness.

Promise:  When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." —Lk 1:41

Praise:  "O Radiant Dawn, come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000