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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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St. Peter Canisius

Song of Songs 2:8-14 or
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21
Luke 1:39-45

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icons of christmas

"Let me see you, let me hear your voice." —Song of Songs 2:14

To prepare the way for Christ's coming this Christmas, we must remove mountains of sin, fill in death-valleys of emptiness, make crooked, labyrinthine ways straight, and knock off the rough edges of our relationships and attitudes (see Lk 3:4-6). In other words, it's humanly impossible to prepare the way of the Lord. Only God Himself can do it. He will do it by convicting us of our sins, especially through prophecy, which will penetrate, divide, and judge the thoughts and reflections of our hearts (Heb 4:12).

Prophecy communicates what God is communicating when He is communicating it. Prophecy can be expressed in words, songs, dramas, lifestyle, and in pictures. There are certain prophetic pictures (sometimes called icons) which have led people to repent and prepare their lives for Jesus. Some of these are pictures of Jesus crucified, Jesus risen, the Good Shepherd, Jesus at the door (Rv 3:20), the infant of Prague, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Baby Jesus, etc.

In today's first readings, we see pictures of Jesus, the leaping Lover (Sg 2:8) and singing Lord (Zep 3:17). In today's Gospel reading, we see the picture of Jesus, the Baby in Mary's womb (Lk 1:42). Look at a prophetic picture of Jesus, especially one of the Sacred Heart, the Baby in the manger, or the Fetus-Baby in the womb. Look at Jesus repeatedly until the sword of prophecy pierces your heart and leads you to repent and prepare the way for Christmas.

Prayer:  Jesus, cleanse the temple of my heart (see Lk 19:45).

Promise:  "Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled." —Lk 1:45

Praise:  "O Radiant Dawn, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death."

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

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