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Saturday, January 3, 2009

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1 John 2:29—3:6
Psalm 98
John 1:29-34

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"The reason the world does not recognize us is that it never recognized the Son." —1 John 3:1

The world has never recognized Jesus (1 Jn 3:1). Even John the Baptizer had to confess not recognizing Him (Jn 1:31), although Jesus was the very reason John came baptizing with water (1 Jn 1:31, 33). Jesus came to His own, "yet His own did not accept Him" (Jn 1:11). He was laid in a manger because there was no room for Him "in the place where travelers lodged" (Lk 2:7).

Jesus was rarely recognized from His birth to His death and resurrection. Even Mary Magdalene and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus did not recognize the risen Christ because He was "completely changed in appearance" (Mk 16:12).

Will we recognize Christ this Christmas season? Will we be among those few wise men and women who came to adore Him? If we are under Jesus' lordship and have died to self, we will recognize Christ this Christmas. If we have been crucified to the world (Gal 6:14), we will have Christmas. Otherwise, we will not recognize Him, for the world has never recognized Jesus (1 Jn 3:1).

Prayer:  Jesus, thank You for choosing me out of the world (Jn 15:19). May I accept Your choice.

Promise:  "When you see the Spirit descend and rest on Someone, it is He Who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit." —Jn 1:33

Praise:  Six-year-old Marie is gifted by God to recognize Jesus truly present in the Eucharist.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Crucified to the World on audio AV 40A-3 or video V-40A.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008

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