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Thursday, December 29, 2011

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St. Thomas Becket

1 John 2:3-11
Psalm 96:1-3, 5-6
Luke 2:22-35

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christmas and death

"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

At Christmas we remember loved ones who have died. These memories may be painful, but we can't help remembering. At Christmas we can experience accelerated growth in our relationship with the Lord. Because of our love for Him, the sting of death can be taken out of our lives (1 Cor 15:55). We no longer dread the memories of past Christmases. We no longer even fear our own death because by the new depths in our relationship with Jesus we have cast out all fear (1 Jn 4:18).

We can welcome death as did Simeon: "Now, Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word" (Lk 2:29). We can risk our lives as St. Thomas Becket did, and call death our sister as St. Francis of Assisi did. Because Jesus was conceived, born, and dwelt among us, we have a love stronger than death (Sg 8:6). Because of Jesus' birth-day, we can rejoice in our death-day. Because of Christmas Day, we can have confidence on Judgment Day (1 Jn 4:17). Because of our relationship with Jesus the Life (Jn 11:25; 14:6), death no longer has power over us (Rm 6:9).

Prayer:  Father, turn our depression to exaltation in Your love.

Promise:  "On second thought, the commandment that I write you is new, as it is realized in Him and you, for the darkness is over and the real light begins to shine." —1 Jn 2:8

Praise:  St. Thomas faced his martyrdom by stating, "I am ready to die for the name of Jesus and the defense of the Church."

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011

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