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Friday, December 20, 1996

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Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24
Luke 1:26-38

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the incarnation

"The angel answered her: 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy Offspring to be born will be called Son of God." —Luke 1:35

If Jesus hadn't become a human being, there would be no saving death and resurrection, no Church or Mass, no body of Christ — there would be no Christmas. Therefore, the Incarnation was one of the greatest events in the history of the human race, and the basis for all the other great events.

Accordingly, we recall the Incarnation morning, noon, and evening in the prayer called the "Angelus." We recall the Incarnation at least fifty-three times in one five-decade rosary as we pray each "Hail Mary." We meditate on the Incarnation as the first joyful mystery. We celebrate the feast of the Incarnation March 25 under the name of The Annunciation. We read about it in Luke 1:35 and John 1:14. We proclaim the Incarnation each Christmas by celebrating the birth of Jesus nine months after He became a human being.

Are you so accustomed to all these references to the Incarnation that you ignore them? Or are you ever more deeply entering into the mystery of the Incarnate God? Be amazed that God became a human being — conceived, birthed, nursed, tired, tempted, sad, crucified, and dead. Treasure all these things and reflect on them in your heart (see Lk 2:19).

Prayer:  Father, may I relate to the Incarnate Jesus as the wise men did (see Mt 2:11).

Promise:  "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son, and shall name Him Immanuel." —Is 7:14

Praise:  Bruce, a long-time salesman, was discerning whether or not to leave his job for full-time ministry. Bruce, who rarely took time off, asked his boss for a week off to help conduct a retreat. His boss retorted, "Who signs your paycheck, me or God?" Bruce left his job and has now served God full-time for several years.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996