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Monday, December 21, 1998

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St. Peter Canisius

Song of Songs 2:8-14 or
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Psalm 33
Luke 1:39-45

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"winter is past" (sg 2:11)

"Arise, My beloved, My beautiful one, and come!" —Song of Songs 2:10, 13

On the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere, the Church announces: "The winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth" (Sg 2:11-12). The Church seems to contradict the season to make the point that in Christ we live not only on a natural level but also on a supernatural one. While it is naturally winter, it can be supernaturally springtime. On the darkest day of the year, the light of Christ can shine more brightly than ever. At the Masses of Christ-mas, as well as at all Masses, the Church proclaims with Jesus that what naturally looks like bread and wine is the body and blood of Jesus (see Mt 26:26-28). When the doctor says that there's no cure naturally speaking, Jesus proclaims that "by His wounds" we "were healed" (1 Pt 2:24). When obviously and naturally there's not enough loaves, fish, money, energy, or time, the Lord supernaturally multiplies our little everythings (see Jn 6:8ff). When a Christian is dead and lying in the grave, the Church supernaturally proclaims: "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:54-55)

Nature is not our God, but our God is the God and Lord of nature. For those in Christ, nature is not a trap and prison but a stepping stone into the supernatural dimension of God's life and love. Transcend the natural this Christmas season, and answer the Lord's call: "Arise, My beloved, My beautiful one, and come! For see the winter is past" (Sg 2:10).

Prayer:  Father, give me a Christmas that only Christians can understand.

Promise:  "Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled." —Lk 1:45

Praise:  "O Radiant Dawn, Splendor of eternal light, Sun of Justice: Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death."

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