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Friday, January 3, 2003

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1 John 2:29—3:6
Psalm 98
John 1:29-34

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recognizing the christmas spirit

"The reason the world does not recognize us is that it never recognized the Son." —1 John 3:1, NAB

If we don't recognize Christ, we don't recognize Christians, Christmas, and other dimensions of Christianity. If we don't recognize Christ, we don't recognize the only Way to God the Father and Truth Himself (Jn 14:6). Thus we would deprive ourselves of Life (Jn 14:6).

Nevertheless, we have difficulty recognizing Christ. Even John the Baptist, whose purpose in life was to prepare for Christ's coming, did not recognize Christ for some time (Jn 1:31, 33). How then can we recognize Christ, Christians, Christmas, and Christianity, and thereby know God our Father, live in the Truth, and have the abundant life? (see Jn 10:10) John recognized Christ when he "saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky" and rest on Jesus (Jn 1:32). We too will recognize Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit. Thus, Christmas and life itself depend on our docility to the only true Christmas Spirit, the Holy Spirit.

As we draw closer to the last day of the Christmas season, when we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus in the Holy Spirit, let us repent of our resistance to God's will and cry out: "Come, Holy Spirit!"

Prayer:  Father, give me the true Christmas Spirit forever.

Promise:  "Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like Him." —1 Jn 3:2

Praise:  The consolation of the Holy Spirit with His peace and joy helps Jane, a widow, throughout the Christmas season.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Holy Spirit, Our Hope on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend David L. Zink, June 12, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2002