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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

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St. John of the Cross

Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25
Psalm 85
Luke 7:18-23

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the only way to christmas day

"Only in the Lord are just deeds and power." —Isaiah 45:24

There's only one name, only one Lord, and only one Way to be saved, go to the Father, and have Christmas (Jn 14:6). Jesus is not only the Way to salvation (Acts 4:12); He is also the Way to healing, victory, freedom, and Christmas. Jesus is not only "the reason for the season," He's the only Way to Christmas Day. Jesus is both the End and the Beginning of Christmas. He is "the Lord, there is no other" (Is 45:6).

Some people try to make Christmas like they try to "make love." A human being can make neither a true Christmas nor true love. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing, including Christmas (Jn 15:5). As we approach Christmas, we don't need to do more or "do it ourselves." Rather, we must "let it be done" to us according to God's word (Lk 1:38).

We must be Mary, not Martha, to have a "Mary" Christmas. At Christmas, we don't need working hands as much as praying hands. We must learn to receive before we give, to wait before we run. Christmas is first a gift from Christ to you before you make it a gift to Christ from you. Remember, Jesus loved us first (1 Jn 4:19).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I immerse myself so deeply in You that I have no room for the attractions of this world.

Promise:  "Blest is that man who finds no stumbling block in Me." —Lk 7:23

Praise:  By staying united with the crucified Christ, St. John was able to produce some of his most beautiful writings while being confined in prison under horrendous conditions.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries offers a Lenten Retreat, Contemplating the Face of Jesus and His Passion, March 11-12, 2006. For a brochure on this and other retreats, as well as information on how you can be immersed in God's word, the sacraments, and Christian community through these retreats, call 937-205-0128, or e-mail retreats@presentationministries.com.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 19, 2005

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