"Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother: 'This Child is destined to be the Downfall and the Rise of many in Israel, a Sign That will be opposed.' " —Luke 2:34
On the fifth day of Christmas, what does God want to do in our lives? How will our lives be different after the Christmas season than before it? The Lord certainly wants us to grow in faith. He wants us to end the Christmas season and begin the new year with a greater faith than ever before.
The Lord calls us to see like Simeon and Anna. When Jesus was presented in the Temple, hundreds of people had the chance to see the baby Jesus. Only Simeon and Anna, however, saw Him with the eyes of faith. By faith, they recognized that Jesus was not only a baby but the "revealing Light to the Gentiles" (Lk 2:32) and the Glory of God's people.
As Christmas continues, Jesus wants us to believe much more deeply that:
- He is God. Therefore, we must worship and obey Him.
- At Mass, bread and wine become His body and blood.
- The teachings of the Church and the Bible are God's word.
- The Church is not merely a human institution but the body of Christ.
- Prayer is communicating with God, and therefore, prayer is one of our most important and powerful privileges.
In our agnostic "culture of death," receive the miracle of great faith through prayer (Jude 20) and God's word (Rm 10:17). Receive the ultimate Christmas gift — great and growing faith.
Prayer: "Now, Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word" (Lk 2:29).
Promise: "On second thought, the commandment that I write you is new." —1 Jn 2:8
Praise: As Thomas was being martyred, he proclaimed: "For the name of Jesus and in defense of the Church I am willing to die."
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, June 1, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 9, 1997