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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

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St. Thomas Becket

1 John 2:3-11
Psalm 96
Luke 2:22-35

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the spirit of christmas

"It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not experience death until he had seen the Anointed of the Lord." —Luke 2:26

Sometimes when we look at the manger scene, we don't see how we fit into Christmas. We see figures from ancient times in a distant land. But how do we live Christmas in the here and now?

Thank God the reality of Christmas is not limited to a particular time or place. Christmas transcends geography and chronology. It is not a matter of exterior circumstances but of the heart. Christmas is an "inside job," a movement "of the Holy Spirit, Who is within" (1 Cor 6:19). The reality of Christmas does not happen by our might or power but only by the Spirit (Zec 4:6).

Without being at the manger and before seeing the Christ Child, Simeon already experienced the Christ of Christmas because "the Holy Spirit was upon him" (Lk 2:25). The Spirit guides us to all truth, including Christmas (Jn 16:13).

Let's ask the Father to stir into flame the gift of the Holy Spirit (2 Tm 1:6ff). "The way we know we remain in Him and He in us is that He has given us of His Spirit" (1 Jn 4:13). The Spirit is also the way we know the reality of Christmas. Come, Holy Spirit of Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, today pour out anew on me the Holy Spirit of Christmas so I may meet the Christ of Christmas.

Promise:  "The way we can be sure we are in union with Him is for the man who claims to abide in Him to conduct himself just as He did." —1 Jn 2:5-6

Praise:  St. Thomas boldly imitated Jesus by traveling to the city where he knew death awaited him.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Holy Spirit Our Hope on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004