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Friday, January 3, 2020

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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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christmas ends with pentecost

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

The finale of the Christmas season is not Christmas day or even Epiphany but the Baptism of Jesus. This is more emphasized in the Eastern Church. Christmas is Trinitarian. Christmas is to the Father, through the Son, and in the Spirit. Christmas is focused on Christ and culminates in the Holy Spirit, the only true Christmas Spirit. Thus, we should be looking to conclude the Christmas season by having the Holy Spirit stirred into flame in our lives (see 2 Tm 1:6-7). In a way, the Christmas season ends as Easter does — with a new Pentecost.

In our Baptism, Jesus has immersed us in the Holy Spirit (see Jn 1:33). We should be preoccupied with the Holy Spirit. However, we can fall into the temptation of being preoccupied with ourselves. The Lord teaches through the Church: "The more we renounce ourselves, the more we 'walk by the Spirit' " (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 736). The Spirit poured out within us fights against our selfishness (Gal 5:17). By the Spirit, we can "put to death the evil deeds of the body" (Rm 8:13).

In these last nine days of the Christmas season, let us not merely "have the Christmas spirit" but may the Holy Spirit of Christmas have us. Then we will truly have a great Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, give me Christmas by Your standards.

Promise:  "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

Praise:  "The apostles for their part left the Sanhedrin full of joy that they had been judged worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of the Name" (Acts 5:41). "At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow."

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Power in the Spirit, order, listen to, or download our CD 64-1 or DVD 64 on our website.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 2, 2019

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