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Friday, December 29, 2006

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St. Thomas Becket

1 John 2:3-11
Psalm 96
Luke 2:22-35

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bare facts

"This Child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a Sign that will be opposed — and you yourself shall be pierced with a sword — so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare." —Luke 2:34-35

As a result of her suffering, the Lord promised Mary the gift of laying bare the thoughts of many hearts. On this fifth day of Christmas, Jesus wants us to know whether we have a personal relationship with Him, and if so, how deep that relationship is. Many claim to know Jesus personally but don't keep the commandments. They are liars and in them there is no truth (1 Jn 2:4).

Mary, as a good spiritual counselor, will help us be honest with God and with ourselves. She'll visit us and minister the Spirit to us as she did with Elizabeth and John (Lk 1:41). Then the Spirit will convict us and prove us wrong about sin, justice, and condemnation (Jn 16:8). She will also pray for us as she did in the upper room (Acts 1:14). Within nine days, with the help of her prayers, a group of scared hypocrites got honest with God and became the Spirit-filled leaders of the early Church.

Most of all, Mary will simply be there, usually in an almost imperceptible way, but we know she's there. Her very presence will keep us honest, or get us honest, as she reveals things we'd just as soon keep to ourselves. Mary has ways of laying bare our hearts and showing us what we need to bring before the Lord. "Mary" Christmas!

Prayer:  Jesus, may my relationship with You be so strong that I would suffer and even die for You.

Promise:  "The way we can be sure we are in union with Him is for the man who claims to abide in Him to conduct himself just as He did." —1 Jn 2:5-6

Praise:  St. Thomas Becket reformed his life after being appointed Archbishop of Canterbury and eventually accepted martyrdom rather than submit to the king's unjust demands.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006

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