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Monday, December 27, 2010

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St. John

1 John 1:1-4
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
John 20:1-8

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the word for christmas

"This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon and our hands have touched — we speak of the word of life." —1 John 1:1

On this third day of Christmas, the Church, to emphasize God's word, celebrates the feast of St. John, one of the major contributors to the New Testament.

The purpose of Christmas is to deepen our personal relationship with Jesus. This is a problem because human beings need to communicate to develop a personal relationship, and we cannot hear Jesus' voice, touch Him, or see Him face to face as the apostles did.

The Lord dealt with this problem originally by becoming a human being. After His Ascension, He sent the Spirit to give birth to His body, the Church. Therefore, through the Church, we can hear, touch, and see Jesus. We do this by celebrating the sacraments of the Church and hearing God's word. Through the outward signs of the sacraments, we can see and touch Jesus. Through the Church's book, the Bible, we can hear Jesus, communicate with Him, and deepen our personal relationship with Him.

Christmas is called Christ-mas because, through the sacraments and especially through the Mass, we relate to Jesus personally. Christ-mas could also be called "Christ-word" because, through the word, we hear Jesus and come to love Him deeply. "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ" (St. Jerome). Ignorance of Christ is ignorance of Christmas. Know the Word; know Christ; know Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, give me new life through Your word this Christmas (see 1 Pt 1:23).

Promise:  "He saw and believed." —Jn 20:8

Praise:  St. John could write the word of God because he so intimately knew the Word of God, Jesus.

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

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