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Wednesday, December 3, 1997

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St. Francis Xavier

Isaiah 25:6-10
Psalm 23
Matthew 15:29-37

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do you believe in christmas?

"This is the Lord for Whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that He has saved us!" — Isaiah 25:9

Christmas is not merely a memory or symbol. It is a real coming of Jesus Christ. We know Jesus has already come and is present everywhere, but we also believe He will come again to us this Christmas, in addition to His final coming at the end of the world.

How will we know when He comes? Will we see Him? Many people have had visions of Jesus (e.g. Acts 9:3ff; 18:9; Rv 1:10ff), but this does not always help them love Christ. Christmas, like life, is not a matter of seeing, but of believing. "Although you have never seen Him, you love Him, and without seeing you now believe in Him, and rejoice with inexpressible joy touched with glory because you are achieving faith's goal, your salvation" (1 Pt 1:8-9). The inexpressible joy of Christmas comes from meeting Jesus, our Savior, through faith.

The real Christmas is a matter of faith. By faith, we can receive and give the following Christmas gifts:

  • death destroyed forever (Is 25:8),
  • tears wiped away (Is 25:8),
  • our reproach removed (Is 25:8),
  • salvation (Is 25:9),
  • "the mute speaking" (Mt 15:31),
  • "the deformed made sound" (Mt 15:31),
  • "cripples walking about" (Mt 15:31),
  • "the blind seeing" (Mt 15:31), and
  • the multiplication of our limited resources (Mt 15:36ff).

Jesus repeatedly said: "Your faith has been your salvation" (e.g. Lk 17:19). It can also be said: "Your faith has been your Christmas."

Prayer:  Father, may Your word help me to hear You. May hearing You strengthen my faith in You and in Christmas (see Rm 10:17).

Promise:  "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd." —Mt 15:32

Praise:  Francis celebrated Mass for the town's leper colony every Sunday.

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