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Friday, December 17, 1999

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Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Psalm 72
Matthew 1:1-17

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the people-person

"A family record of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob..." —Matthew 1:1-2

God began the New Testament with "a family record of Jesus Christ." Matthew names forty-six people who prepared the way for Jesus. The message is that Jesus' Incarnation was through the people, with the people, and for the people. Jesus' Incarnation, death, and resurrection was and is the greatest thing that has ever happened to the human person.

Before Christ, we people were made in the image and likeness of God (Gn 1:26-27) and then were severely marred by sin. In Jesus, we people are now restored into His image (see Rm 8:29). We are adopted as sons and daughters of God (see Rm 8:15). Thus we become heirs of His kingdom (Rm 8:17), capable of being holy (1 Pt 1:16) and pure as He is (1 Jn 3:3). In Jesus, we receive the mysterious, awesome gift of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit living within us. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), and we even receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus in Holy Communion.

"Because of this we no longer look on anyone in terms of mere human judgment. If at one time we so regarded Christ, we no longer know Him by this standard. This means that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Cor 5:16-17).

Prayer:  Father, may I love people as You, Jesus, and the Spirit do.

Promise:  "The mountains shall yield peace for the people, and the hills justice. He shall defend the afflicted among the people, save the children of the poor." —Ps 72:3-4

Praise:  "O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, You govern all creation with Your strong yet tender care. Come show Your people the way to salvation."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999