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Tuesday, December 21, 1999

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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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how to get god to sing

"Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel." —Zephaniah 3:14

Christmas is Jesus' birthday. To have a real birthday party, you must have shouting and singing. The birthday boy or girl usually shouts when opening the presents. Then, of course, everybody sings "Happy Birthday." If Jesus is going to have a real birthday party this Christmas, we must give Him presents that will get Him to shout and "sing joyfully...as one sings at festivals" (Zep 3:17-18). Pretty packages, a cake, and candles will not get Jesus to sing. In fact, it's difficult to give Him a birthday or Christmas gift because He already has everything — with one exception.

The present that gives God and all of heaven more joy than anything else is repentance and conversion (Lk 15:7). When we take the plank out of our own eye and then take the speck out of others' eyes, we get God to shout and sing (Mt 7:5). When we proceed "in haste into the hill country" (Lk 1:39) or into the highways and byways (Lk 14:23) and lead people to Christ, this also calls for a song. As He sings, we sing: "My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior" (Lk 1:46-47). Then we have a real birthday party and a real Christmas.

Prayer:  Jesus, on this first day of winter I ask for a spiritual spring-time.

Promise:  "Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come! For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth." —Sg 2:10-12

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 L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

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