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Sunday, February 8, 1998

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5th Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Psalm 138
Luke 5:1-11

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the incarnation or doomsday

"Woe is me, I am doomed!" —Isaiah 6:5

In God's holy presence, Isaiah exclaimed: "Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips" (Is 6:5). In Jesus' presence, "Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus saying, 'Leave me, Lord. I am a sinful man' " (Lk 5:8). God's holiness and our sinfulness are so incompatible that, if we stayed in His presence, we would self-destruct (see 2 Thes 2:8). Yet, if we don't stay in His presence, we will never be freed from sin and become holy. We can't be in His presence because we're not holy, but we can't become holy without being in His presence. As Isaiah said, we are doomed (Is 6:5). How can we escape from this dilemma?

Jesus, the all-holy God, emptied Himself (Phil 2:7) so we can remain in His presence even in our sinfulness. In fact, "for our sakes God made Him Who did not know sin, to be sin, so that in Him we might become the very holiness of God" (2 Cor 5:21). Jesus' Incarnation made it possible for us, who are sinners, to be in His presence, so that we can become saints.

Rejoice in Jesus' Incarnation. Thank Him for His human, divine, crucified, risen and eucharistic presence. Alleluia!

Prayer:  Father, thank You for loving me so much as to send Your Son to become a human being (see Jn 3:16).

Promise:  "By God's grace, I am what I am." —1 Cor 15:10, our transl.

Praise:  Alleluia! "This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it" (Ps 118:24). Jesus is risen!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997