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Saturday, December 6, 2003

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St. Nicholas

Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
Psalm 147
Matthew 9:35—10:1, 6-8

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the jesus tour: 2003

"Jesus continued His tour of all the towns and villages." —Matthew 9:35

Rock stars and politicians are known for making a tour of various cities. They have nothing on Jesus, Who made His first world tour nearly two-thousand years ago. In His first "performance," Jesus "taught in their synagogues, He proclaimed the good news of God's reign, and He cured every sickness and disease" (Mt 9:35).

Modern-day  rock stars and politicians have advance publicity to generate excitement and promote attendance for their tours. Jesus, however, had hundreds of years of advance publicity. His Father sent front men like the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Nathan. God even sent a shining star (Mt 2:2). As the days neared for the tour of Jesus the Messiah, God sent John the Baptizer to prepare the people. John attracted crowds through a lifestyle that was bizarre by even today's standards. John ate grasshoppers, wore camel's hair clothes, and lived in an arid desert (Mk 1:6).

Jesus toured all the towns and villages, not just the big-market stops. "At the sight of the crowds, His heart was moved with pity" (Mt 9:36) rather than dollar signs. His tour gained momentum until, at His final stop in Jerusalem, His tour came to a victorious end with a "show-stopping" death on the cross followed by His glorious resurrection.

Jesus is touring again this Christmas. But the message "Jesus is coming to town" has been replaced with "Santa Claus is coming to town." Crowds flock to see Santa and abandon churches. When Jesus comes this Christmas, may He not have to ask: "Why was no one there when I came?" (Is 50:2) Come, let us adore Him.

Prayer:  Father, may I seek Jesus like the wise men did (Mt 2:1ff). 

Promise:  "He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as He hears He will answer you." —Is 30:19

Praise:  St. Nicholas gave gifts that freed others from sin and brought them closer to Christ.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003