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Friday, December 18, 1998

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Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:18-24

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accept for christmas

"Joseph her husband, an upright man unwilling to expose her to the law, decided to divorce her quietly." —Matthew 1:19

Joseph planned to divorce Mary and, therefore, Jesus. This Christmastime, we also may be tempted to divorce Jesus indirectly, and thereby miss out on Christmas. Throughout history, there have been many more innkeepers and Herods at Christmas than wise men and shepherds. To the present day, few are at the side of Jesus in the manger. Most of the world continues to ignore the Christ of Christmas.

Joseph would have rejected Jesus if he had not made a super act of faith and accepted Mary as his wife under overwhelming circumstances. Often for us, the key to Christmas is to have the faith, like Joseph, to accept a spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister in the Lord under difficult circumstances. The Lord commands us: "Accept one another, then, as Christ accepted you, for the glory of God" (Rm 15:7).

To meet Jesus this Christmas, accept:

  • those you don't understand,
  • those who don't accept you,
  • family members who continue to hurt you,
  • and forgive everyone who has ever hurt you,
  • and correct in love some of those who have hurt you, and
  • everyone where they are and lead them to where God wants them to be.

To meet Christ this Christmas, be like Christ Who has always kept His promise: "No one who comes will I ever reject" (Jn 6:37).

Prayer:  Father, thank You for accepting and convicting me by the Spirit (Jn 16:8).

Promise:  "In His days Judah shall be saved, Israel shall dwell in security." —Jer 23:6

Praise:  "O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, Who showed Yourself to Moses in the burning bush, Who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch out Your mighty hand to set us free."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998