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Saturday, January 2, 2010

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St. Basil the Great
St. Gregory Nazianzen

1 John 2:22-28
Psalm 98:1-4
John 1:19-28

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teaching: the meaning of christmas

"His anointing teaches you about all things and is true." —1 John 2:27

The word "Christ" means "Anointed One." We who follow Christ are "Christ-ians," that is, "anointed ones." When we think of being anointed, we may think of being empowered, healed, or blessed. However, when John thinks of anointing, he thinks of being taught. When we're anointed, we "have no need for anyone to teach" us (1 Jn 2:27). "His anointing teaches" us "about all things" (1 Jn 2:27), and especially teaches us to "remain in Him" (1 Jn 2:27).

The word "Christ-mas" means "the Mass of the Anointed One." If we are to truly celebrate the Christmas season, we must give our lives to Christ, deepen our relationship with Him (especially through the Mass), and be "Christ-ians," that is, "anointed ones" being taught by the Holy Spirit (see Jn 14:26).

The Spirit will teach us as we pray at the Masses of the "Christ-mas" season. He will teach us when we read the Bible and especially when we study the Bible with others. Jesus' disciples were first called "Christ-ians" after a year of intensive instruction based on the Bible (Acts 11:26). To be true Christians and to have a true Christmas, we must study the Scriptures daily and deeply (see Acts 17:11).

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, give me the true Christmas spirit by immersing me in Your word.

Promise:  "Make straight the way of the Lord." —Jn 1:23

Praise:  St. Basil was an orator, a lawyer, a monk, an abbot, a bishop, and a doctor of the Church.

Reference:  (Grow as a "Christ-ian" by helping others grow in their faith by counseling others using the Bible. For encouragement, order our series on Biblical Counseling on audio AV 13A-1, AV 13A-3, AV 13B-1 or video starting with V-13A.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009

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