the last day of christmas
"When the day came to purify them according to the law of Moses, the couple brought Him up to Jerusalem so that He could be presented to the Lord." —Luke 2:22
According to Jewish law, forty days after their baby boys were born, parents were obliged to present them to the Lord (Lv 12:3-4). Therefore, we celebrate the Lord's Presentation forty days after Christmas, His birthday. So today's feast day is connected with the number "40" and with Christmas.
The number "40" indicates a period of great change, hopefully ending in fulfillment. For instance, the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years before entering the promised land. Noah's flood lasted forty days. Moses was in God's presence on Mount Sinai for forty days. Nineveh had forty days to repent. Jesus fasted for forty days and ascended forty days after His resurrection. Today, the Lord is offering us the grace of a "40," that is, the grace of transformation and fulfillment.
Did you "have a good Christmas"? Is your life transformed by what the Lord did this past Christmas? If not, you can be transformed by the graces of today. Today may be your last chance for Christmas. Give your life to the Christ of Christmas. Jesus is a Sign of contradiction and your "Downfall" if you reject Him. He is your "Rise" if you accept Him (Lk 2:34). Give your life to Jesus today and have Christmas.
Prayer: Father, may this be the best Christmas ever — all that You want it to be.
Promise: "Since He was Himself tested through what He suffered, He is able to help those who are tempted." —Heb 2:18
Praise: Alleluia! Praise Jesus, the Light to the nations and the glory of Israel! (Lk 2:32)
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Purification/Presentation & Illumination on audio AV 89-1 or video V-89.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013
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