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Monday, December 17, 2001

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

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the first and last word

"A family record of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham..." —Matthew 1:1

Today's Gospel reading begins the New Testament, begins the special conclusion to the Advent season, and begins the Christmas season, for it is the gospel for the Christmas Eve Mass. This Gospel reading is one of the most important revelations in the history of the human race.

Nevertheless, the beginning of the New Testament leaves many people cold because they don't know the storied histories of many of the people named. Thus, the beginning of the New Testament calls us to learn:

  • the Old Testament,
  • God's plan of salvation,
  • Jesus (see 1 Cor 2:2), and
  • the whole Bible.

Consequently, in these last precious days of Advent, abide in God's word (Jn 8:31). Meditate on it day and night, and delight in it (Ps 1:2). Let God's word be the joy and happiness of your heart (Jer 15:16). Devote yourself to God's word (see Acts 2:42). "Your rebirth has come, not from a destructible but from an indestructible seed, through the living and enduring word of God" (1 Pt 1:23). Love and live God's word. This Christmas, meet by faith (see Rm 10:17) the incarnate Word (see Jn 1:14), Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  Father, use Your word to change my life.

Promise:  "Justice shall flower in His days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more." —Ps 72:7

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

Reference:  (To help you live God's word, order from our thirty-minute teachings on each book of the Bible — on video beginning with V-21 or on audio beginning with AV 21-01.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001