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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Pope St. Damasus I

Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 96:1-3, 10-13
Matthew 18:12-14

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twice as nice

"Indeed, she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins." —Isaiah 40:2

The prophet Isaiah addresses Jerusalem, the holy city of God. Jerusalem had turned its back on the Lord, despite all the great blessings He had showered upon it for centuries. Finally, in 587 B.C., Babylon invaded Jerusalem, conquered the city, razed it to the ground, and forced all its inhabitants into exile in Babylon (see 2 Chr 36:15-21). This is the "double" punishment which Isaiah refers to in today's first eucharistic reading (Is 40:2).

Yet now God speaks a word of "comfort" to the exiles through Isaiah (Is 40:1). Their time of punishment is over; their "guilt is expiated" (Is 40:2). They received a double punishment, but now God will return a double-blessing; "since their shame was double...they shall have a double inheritance in their land" (Is 61:7). The Lord tells the exiles: "This very day, I return you double for your exile" (Zec 9:12).

God poured out "a double portion" of the Spirit upon the prophet Elisha (2 Kgs 2:9). He also pours out a double portion upon each of us at every Mass. Each time we attend Mass, we receive the double blessings of the Liturgy of the Word and also the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Jesus has come that we "might have life and have it to the full" (Jn 10:10). Let Him pour out His love upon you. Receive everything Jesus has for you, even twice as much.

Prayer:  Father, may I never limit You in anything. I allow You to give me anything You desire.

Promise:  "Though the grass withers and the flower wilts, the word of our God stands forever." —Is 40:8

Praise:  Pope St. Damasus I both taught the Truth and refuted falsehood, particularly by commissioning the translation of the Bible into Latin, the common language of his day.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 16, 2018

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