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Friday, December 25, 1998

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Isaiah 9:1-6 (Midnight Mass readings)
Titus 2:11-14
Psalm 96
Luke 2:1-14

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will you accept or reject him?

"She gave birth to her first-born Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the place where travelers lodged." —Luke 2:7

Some people think Christmas is especially for those with large, loving families and many friends. However, Christmas is not primarily for the popular but the unpopular, not for the accepted but the rejected, and not for the rich but for the poor. Jesus was born in a barn and laid in a manger because He and His parents were rejected and poor (Lk 2:7). Throughout His life, Jesus was the Stone rejected by the builders (Ps 118:22). In death, this rejection became so severe that we slapped Him, spat at Him,  blasphemed Him, drove nails into His skin, and made Him hang and die on a cross. Although He is the only One Who has never rejected anyone (Jn 6:37), Jesus was and is the most rejected Person ever. He is at this moment continuing to be rejected and held up for contempt (Heb 6:6).

May this Christmas not be like the first one. May rejected people not reject Jesus but accept Him. "To His own He came, yet His own did not accept Him. Any who did accept Him He empowered to become children of God" (Jn 1:11-12). If you feel rejected this Christmas, know that Jesus accepts you. Accept Him and love Him with all your heart and life.

Prayer:  Jesus, I accept Your grace, which offers salvation to all men (Ti 2:11). I accept You as Savior, Lord, and God. Alleluia!

Promise:  "For a Child is born to us, a Son is given us; upon His shoulder dominion rests. They name Him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace." —Is 9:5

Praise:  "This day in David's city a Savior has been born to you, the Messiah and Lord" (Lk 2:11). "Glory to God in high heaven" and peace on earth! (Lk 2:14)

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