the down payment
"And this is how we know that He remains in us: from the Spirit that He gave us." —1 John 3:24
At the Christmas season, we celebrate not only Immanuel, "God with us" but also God within us. "Those who keep His commandments remain in Him and He in them" (1 Jn 3:24; see also 1 Jn 4:16; 5:20; Jn 14:20; 6:56; 17:23). Christ in us is our "hope of glory" (Col 1:27).
However, "perhaps you yourselves do not realize that Christ Jesus is in you" (2 Cor 13:5). "This is how we know that He remains in us: from the Spirit that He gave us" (1 Jn 3:24; 4:13). The Holy Spirit is "the first Payment" (2 Cor 1:22). "He is the Pledge of our inheritance, the first Payment against the full redemption of a people God has made His own, to praise His glory" (Eph 1:14). For example, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Church, the body of Christ, continues Christ's ministry of healing by curing "the people of every disease and illness" (Mt 4:23). When we see others healed or when we ourselves are healed, this work of the Holy Spirit gives us reason to believe that all God's promises are true — including His promise to live within us.
When we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7), we walk and believe by the light of the Holy Spirit. Come, only true Christmas Spirit! Come, Holy Spirit!
Prayer: Father, "I believe! Help my lack of faith!" (Mk 9:24, our transl)
Promise: "A people living in darkness has seen a great light. On those who inhabit a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen." —Mt 4:16
Praise: After falling on the ice and injuring her back, Sharon prayed, "Only say the word and I shall be healed" (see Lk 7:7). She received an instant healing upon receiving the Eucharist.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999