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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

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

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the sounds of silence

"Joseph her husband, an upright man unwilling to expose her to the law, decided to divorce her quietly." —Matthew 1:19

Christmas will be a "silent night," but may not be a "holy night." The silence may be the silence of awe and worship, or the deafening silence of divorce. Joseph was tempted to divorce Jesus indirectly by divorcing Mary. We can also divorce Jesus by divorcing ourselves from the poor. This refers not only to those materially poor but also the poorest of the poor, the spiritually poor, those who do not know Jesus personally.

If we do not provide food for the starving and the gospel for the unbelieving, we have indirectly divorced ourselves from Jesus. Our Christmas will have sad silence. If we "go tell it on the mountain" and "live simply so others can simply live," we will have room in our inn for the Christ Child (Lk 2:7). We will be divorced from sin, slavery, and death, and Christmas will have the silence where "all is calm, all is bright."

There are sounds in your silence. Is your silence an acceptance or a rejection of the Christ Child?

Prayer:  (Pray silently.)

Promise:  "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 leaflet, Hearing God, or on audio AV 45-1 or video V-45.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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