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Monday, January 4, 2016

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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

1 John 3:22—4:6
Psalm 2:7-8, 10-12
Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

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the down payment

"And this is how we know that He remains in us: from the Spirit that He gave us." —1 John 3:24

At the Christmas season, we celebrate not only Immanuel, "God with us" but also God within us. "Those who keep His commandments remain in Him and He in them" (1 Jn 3:24; see also 1 Jn 4:16; 5:20; Jn 14:20; 6:56; 17:23). Christ in us is our "hope of glory" (Col 1:27).

However, "perhaps you yourselves do not realize that Christ Jesus is in you" (2 Cor 13:5). "This is how we know that He remains in us: from the Spirit that He gave us" (1 Jn 3:24; 4:13). The Holy Spirit is "the first Payment" (2 Cor 1:22). "He is the Pledge of our inheritance, the first Payment against the full redemption of a people God has made His own, to praise His glory" (Eph 1:14). For example, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Church, the Body of Christ, continues Christ's ministry of healing by curing "the people of every disease and illness" (Mt 4:23). When we see others healed or when we ourselves are healed, this work of the Holy Spirit gives us reason to believe that all God's promises are true — including His promise to live within us.

When we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7), we walk and believe by the light of the Holy Spirit. Come, only true Christmas Spirit! Come, Holy Spirit!

Prayer:  Father, "I believe! Help my lack of faith!" (Mk 9:24, our transl.)

Promise:  "A people living in darkness has seen a great light. On those who inhabit a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen." —Mt 4:16

Praise:  St. Elizabeth, the first native-born American to be canonized, was a convert to Catholicism at age thirty. Though she only lived sixteen more years, she walked by faith and led many others to faith in Christ.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015

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