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Tuesday, December 24, 1996

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2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Psalm 89
Luke 1:67-79

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"lead, kindly light" (cardinal john henry newman)

"He, the Dayspring, shall visit us." —Luke 1:78

Zechariah hadn't been able to talk for nine months. So he had plenty of time to think about what he would say if he ever talked again. After Zechariah was miraculously healed and filled with the Holy Spirit, he prophesied, that is, he said what God was saying (Lk 1:67). At the end of this prophecy of prophecies, Zechariah called Jesus "the Dayspring," the Dawn, Who "shall visit us in His mercy, to shine on those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace" (Lk 1:78- 79). Jesus is the merciful Dawn, the Shining Light, Who guides us from the darkness and death of sin into the way of peace.

Zechariah's prophecy was confirmed by the angels at the birth of Christ, the first "Christmas," when a multitude of the heavenly host announced that Jesus' birth meant glory in heaven and peace on earth (Lk 2:13-14).

Jesus' birth and life was "for the light of men" (Jn 1:4). Jesus is first our dawning Light (see Jn 8:12), then He is our Peace (Eph 2:14). If our Christmas lights are guiding lights leading us to peace, then we have the true meaning of Christmas. "Lead, kindly Light."

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, dawn on me; lead me home.

Promise:  "The favors of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim Your faithfulness. For You have said, 'My kindness is established forever.' " —Ps 89:2-3

Praise:  The Holy Spirit illumined the eyes of Carol's heart with a sudden, profound ability to understand Scripture.

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