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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

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Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24
Luke 1:26-38

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the time is fulfilled

"Rejoice, O highly favored daughter! The Lord is with you." —Luke 1:28

Rejoice unto the Lord for the time is fulfilled, the time long awaited by King David when his throne would be established forever (2 Sm 7:16), the time awaited by Paul when God's mystery, kept for hundreds of years, would be revealed (Rm 16:25), the time awaited by God's people and fulfilled in Mary when she conceived by the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:35). What joyous expectations have been fulfilled in the birth of Jesus!

So often we seek for joy and peace and comfort in unusual places — corrupt society, decadent living, material security, envious activity, or jealous possessiveness. Mary found joy in allowing God's word to be done unto her (Lk 1:38). David found joy in listening to the prophet and doing his will (2 Sm 7:17ff). Paul found joy in the wisdom of God (Rm 16:27). Can we do less than they? Joy is found in service and obedience — not primarily to humankind, but above all to God and His Son Jesus Christ. For if we serve Jesus, we must necessarily serve our fellows. If we merely serve our fellows, we may not be serving Jesus.

As Christmas fast approaches, we must have the joy of the shepherds in our hearts (Lk 2:10) for we know the time is now fulfilled — the time for Jesus to give us true joy and true peace, the time to preach His name to all people, the time to be an evangelist for His sake.

Prayer:  "This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the gospel!" (Mk 1:15)

Promise:  "The virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son, and shall name Him Immanuel." —Is 7:14

Praise:  "O Key of David, O royal power of Israel controlling at Your will the gate of heaven: come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead Your captive people into freedom."

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 19, 2005

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