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Thursday, December 28, 2000

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Holy Innocents

1 John 1:5—2:2
Psalm 124
Matthew 2:13-18

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sin is a reason for the season

"If we say, 'We are free of the guilt of sin,' we deceive ourselves." —1 John 1:8

Although many people don't want to talk about sin, especially around Christmas time, we all believe in sin. We believe that Herod, Hitler, Stalin, and other villains in history chose to do things which are objectively wrong.

However, we would like to think that sin is rare, since many people maintain that most acts are not matters of objective right or wrong but only matters of subjective values. Nevertheless, sin is not rare, but universal. Everyone is a sinner, and many people sin frequently (see Rm 3:23).

Moreover, we would like to relegate sin to other people, especially to people like Herod. We like to tell ourselves that we would never kill several babies as Herod did (see Mt 2:16). I'm sure Herod told himself the same thing. However, not only is it true that there is sin, and sin is universal and frequently committed, but also that each one of us is a sinner.

"If we say, 'We are free of the guilt of sin,' we deceive ourselves; the truth is not to be found in us. But if we acknowledge our sins, He Who is just can be trusted to forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrong. If we say, 'We have never sinned,' we make Him a liar" (1 Jn 1:8-10). "My little ones, I am writing this to keep you from sin. But if anyone should sin, we have" Jesus Christ (1 Jn 2:1). "He is an Offering for our sins, and not for our sins only, but for those of the whole world" (1 Jn 2:2).

There would have been no need for the Incarnation and Christmas except to free us from sin. This Christmas, receive one of the greatest Christmas presents. Receive the forgiveness of your sins.

Prayer:  Father, may my Christmas Confession be life-changing.

Promise:  "We were freed. Our help is in the name of the Lord." —Ps 124:8

Praise:  The deaths of the Holy Innocents were not in vain. In God's mysterious plan, their short lives and tragic deaths continue to bear fruit.

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