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Monday, December 18, 2006

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Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:18-24

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wrapped presents

"She was found with Child through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, an upright man unwilling to expose her to the law, decided to divorce her quietly." —Matthew 1:18-19

Like our Christmas presents, Jesus may come wrapped this Christmas. On the first Christmas, He came inside another person, His mother Mary. This Christmas, He may come inside another person, and the wrapping will not be impressive. We will be tempted to throw the package away, assuming nothing of value is inside. Like Joseph, we will be tempted "to divorce her quietly" (Mt 1:19). In doing that, we will unknowingly divorce Jesus and therefore Christmas.

The innkeeper made the same mistake (Lk 2:7). The Messiah came in the package of a man and his teenage wife. The innkeeper wouldn't accept it. Jesus may come to us inside a poor man. Whatever we do to the least of the brethren, that's what we do to Jesus (Mt 25:40). He may come wrapped in the Bible, and we can easily divorce the Bible quietly and not take time to read it. Jesus always comes wrapped in the Mass. That's why it's called Christ-Mass.

When God sends His angel to warn us against throwing away a package with Jesus inside, let's listen.

Prayer:  Jesus, I'm sorry for throwing You away when I throw away the packages You come in.

Promise:  "In His days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security. This is the name they give Him: 'The Lord our Justice.' " —Jer 23:6

Praise:  "O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, Who showed Yourself to Moses in the burning bush, Who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out Your mighty hand to set us free."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Loving the Mass on audio AV 54-3 or video V-54.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006

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