"Then [Jesus] directed the crowd to seat themselves on the ground." —Matthew 15:35
Jesus is always full of surprises. Today He invites us to a Christmas picnic, of all things, a picnic on God's holy mountain. The view is gorgeous, and the food delectable, "rich food and choice wines" (Is 25:6). The entertainment is overwhelming. First, He removes the veil so we can see and there's nothing to separate us from each other (Is 25:7). The view from the mountain is now breathtaking. Next, Jesus destroys the web which has caught us (Is 25:7-8). Now we're totally free, breathing in the exhilarating mountain air and leaping for joy. We wish it would never end. So Jesus destroys death forever, and it will never end (Is 25:8).
Some have just come to the picnic. They are labored and burdened, battered by the world, with tears in their eyes and pain in their hearts. Jesus gently and lovingly wipes away "the tears from all faces" and removes their reproach (Is 25:8).
The Lord has done it all. God is now all in all (1 Cor 15:28). There's nothing left to do but rejoice in the Lord always and forever (Phil 4:4). "This is the Lord for Whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that He has saved us!" (Is 25:9)
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the mountain, the picnic, and for You.
Promise: "[Jesus] took the seven loaves and the fish, and after giving thanks He broke them and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. All ate until they were full." —Mt 15:36-37
Praise: St. John of Damascus opposed heretics, making Christian enemies. God arranged for Muslim rulers to protect his life.
Reference: (Be the good news of Jesus by reading the Bible every day. We have several tape series to help you. Overview of the Bible is six audio tapes starting with AV 10A-1 or three video tapes starting with V-10A. 15-minute Bible Teaching - New Testament is forty audio tapes starting with #700. An Introduction to each Book of the Bible is 32 audio tapes starting with AV 21-1 or 17 video tapes starting with V-21.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2013
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