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Friday, December 18, 2009

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Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19
Matthew 1:18-25

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just christmas

"I will raise up a righteous Shoot to David." —Jeremiah 23:5

Jeremiah prophesied the coming of a King in the line of David. "This is the name they give Him: 'The Lord our Justice' " (Jer 23:6). This King named Justice would set His people free from exile in Babylon as He had previously set them free from slavery in Egypt (Jer 23:7-8).

At first, Jesus' coming seemed to contradict rather than fulfill Jeremiah's prophecy. It is a severe injustice that Jesus had nowhere to be born but in a stable. Herod added further injustice and oppression by forcing the holy family to flee to Egypt. The circumstances surrounding Jesus' coming were not justice and freedom, but injustice and oppression. The situation grew worse because the greatest injustice ever committed was Jesus' crucifixion and death on Calvary. Paradoxically, by accepting that injustice, Jesus made it possible for all people to be justified.

We also may feel that gross injustices in our world contradict Christ's promises for Christmas. Even in our personal lives, we may have been expecting justice, freedom, peace, and love. Instead, we suffered injustice and other evils. However, if we can be like Joseph and Mary by trusting the Lord, He will make all things work together for the good (Rm 8:28), and we will see the glory of Christ this Christmas season. No matter how bad things are, believe the Lord will have the final word this Christmas season. He proclaims: "I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of justice" (Is 42:6). "Justice shall flower in His days" (Ps 72:7).

Prayer:  Father, may I trust You especially when I don't understand what's happening in my life.

Promise:  " 'The virgin shall be with Child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call Him Emmanuel,' a name which means 'God is with us' " —Mt 1:23

Praise:  "O sacred Lord of ancient Israel, You showed Yourself to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the holy law on Sinai Mountain."

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009

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