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Sunday, December 24, 2000

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

Micah 5:1-4
Hebrews 10:5-10
Psalm 80
Luke 1:39-45

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body language

"We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." —Hebrews 10:10

Tomorrow, in hundreds of nations, billions of people will look at statues or pictures of the body of Baby Jesus. Moreover, hundreds of millions of people always carry with them crucifixes depicting the crucified body of Jesus. There is something awesome and mysterious about the body of Jesus.

When the body of Jesus was just beginning to be formed a few hours after Mary conceived Him, Mary took Jesus' body "into the hill country to a town of Judah, where she entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leapt in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit" (Lk 1:39-41). The first hours of the presence of Jesus' body on earth resulted in an explosion by the Holy Spirit.

Several months later, wise men saw the body of Baby Jesus and were compelled to give Him many thousands of dollars of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Mt 2:11).

Several years later, thousands of people touched "just the tassel" of the cloak clothing Jesus' body, and "all who touched Him got well" (see Mk 6:56).

Today, we can touch the body of Christ in even more powerful and intimate ways by loving the body of Christ, the Church (see Eph 5:25), and especially by receiving the body of Christ in Holy Communion. That is why the season beginning tomorrow is called "Christmas," for at Mass we touch Christ's body.

"Mary" "Christ-Mass"! Like Mary, receive the body of Christ in your body.

Prayer:  Father, when I go to Communion and hear the words "Body of Christ," may I never be the same.

Promise:  "A body You have prepared for Me." —Heb 10:5

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Immanuel, God with us and soon to come! Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

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