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Tuesday, December 25, 2001

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Isaiah 9:1-6
Titus 2:11-14
(Midnight Mass Readings)
Psalm 96

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christmas is for the rejected

"She gave birth to her first-born Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the place where travelers lodged." —Luke 2:7

On March 25, we celebrate the Annunciation and the Incarnation. Today, we celebrate Jesus' birth and, in particular, His birth in a stable at Bethlehem. Jesus did not become just a man; He became a poor, rejected man. Not only did Jesus join the human race but He joined the oppressed and mistreated part of the human race. Jesus joined those victimized and disrespected in our world. Jesus became:

  • a homeless person,
  • a refugee,
  • a common laborer,
  • a prisoner,
  • a death row inmate, and
  • an executed prisoner.

Jesus was so tortured and brutalized before His death that "His appearance" was "beyond that of" man (Is 52:14), that is, it was difficult to tell whether or not He was a human being. He emptied Himself (Phil 2:7) even more by coming to us in Holy Communion under the appearances of bread and wine.

Jesus freely chose to be born in a manger and be the most rejected of men. He did this because He loves us perfectly. He is Emmanuel, that is, "God with us," especially in our poverty, pain, and suffering. Love Jesus, the Rejected One.

Prayer:  Father, give me a "Mary" Christmas. May I love Jesus as Mary does.

Promise:  "For a Child is born to us, a Son is given us; upon His shoulder dominion rests. They name Him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace." —Is 9:5

Praise:  Praise Jesus, eternal and incarnate Word, God made Man, Savior of the World, our only Hope!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001