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Sunday, January 3, 2016

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Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-13
Matthew 2:1-12

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"Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you." —Isaiah 60:1

On every Epiphany, the Lord commands us to "rise up in splendor," to put the light of our lives in Christ on the lampstand to give light to all in darkness (see Lk 8:16). We must let our "little light shine" and let the world know the true message of Christmas — that Jesus became a human being, was born, died on a cross, and rose from the dead to save us.

Before we rise up, we must see two things. First, we must see what God has done for us, His glory shining on us (Is 60:2). Then, we must see what sin and Satan have done to the world, for "darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples" (Is 60:2). When we see the grace we've received and the deadly darkness of the world, we know we have the responsibility and the power to rise up. "For God, Who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts, that we in turn might make known the glory of God shining on the face of Christ" (2 Cor 4:6).

To rise, we must see. To see, we must repent. On this greatest day of the Christmas season, let's give Jesus three gifts — not gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but repentance, seeing, and rising. Jesus gave us the gift of His birth. May we give Him the gift of new birth for many in darkness.

Prayer:  Father, may I lead more people to believe in Jesus in 2016 than in all my other years combined.

Promise:  "They prostrated themselves and did Him homage. Then they opened their coffers and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." —Mt 2:11

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Life (Jn 14:6), Love (1 Jn 4:16), Light (Jn 8:12), and Lord (Phil 2:11)!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015

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