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Sunday, January 7, 2007

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Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
Psalm 72
Matthew 2:1-12

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about face

"The star which they had observed at its rising went ahead of them until it came to a standstill over the place where the Child was." —Matthew 2:9

The word "Christmas" is made up of two words: "Christ" and "Mass." The word "Mass" is based on a root word meaning "sent." Until there is a sending, there is no Christ-mas. Until there is an epiphany, a manifestation of Jesus to the nations, there is no Christmas.

The wise men are wise not just because they followed the star to the manger, but also because they went forth and gave the message of the Messiah to the nations. Likewise, the shepherds not only went to the manger but were sent from the manger to tell everyone what they had seen and heard (Lk 2:18).

Almost four billion people on the earth did not have Christmas this year because they had neither Christ nor Mass. We must follow the star and then be the star to a world in darkness (Is 60:2; Phil 2:15). When we see the manger scene, we always see the wise men and shepherds coming. Let's turn them around and have them going from the manger, making disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19) and being the light of the world (Mt 5:14).

Prayer:  Jesus, if I tell the world about You, I know that I've had a true Christmas. May I not be ashamed of the gospel (Rm 1:16) but be Your witness (Acts 1:8).

Promise:  "In Christ Jesus the Gentiles are now co-heirs with the Jews, members of the same body and sharers of the promise through the preaching of the gospel." —Eph 3:6

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who was made manifest to reveal God's unchanging love for this world.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Evangelization on audio AV 55-1 and AV 55-3 or video V-55.)

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

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