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Friday, January 3, 2014

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Holy Name of Jesus

1 John 2:29—3:6
Psalm 98:1, 3-6
John 1:29-34

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"Dearly beloved, we are God's children now." —1 John 3:2

God loved us so much that He wanted us in His family. However, our nature was not compatible with being in God's family. It would be like a human family adopting a beetle, cockroach, amoeba, orangutan, or giraffe. It just wouldn't work. Even if we pretended these creatures were part of our families, they don't have the capacity to join in family life. They could be nothing other than pets at best. In the same way, human beings don't naturally have the capacity to belong in God's family.

Consequently, God the Father sent His Son to become a human being and make it possible for our human natures to be changed so significantly that we can be adopted into God's family. "Any who did accept [Jesus] He empowered to become children of God. These are they who believe in His name — who were begotten not by blood, nor by carnal desire, nor by man's willing it, but by God" (Jn 1:12-13). "See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God! Yet that is what we are" (1 Jn 3:1).

Jesus was born in Bethlehem so He could die on Calvary. By being baptized into His death, we share in His resurrection and become new creations (Gal 6:15) and adopted children of God. Christmas is for children — God's children.

Prayer:  Father, thank You for making us adopt-able.

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:  The Holy Name of Jesus means "God saves," which means we need saving. Praise You, Jesus our Savior. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Your most adorable and holy name (Phil 2:9-11). Alleluia!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2013

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