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Sunday, January 10, 2016

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Baptism of the Lord

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7
Psalm 104:1-4, 24-25, 27-30
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

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surprise party

"The people were full of anticipation." —Luke 3:15

Many people expected John the Baptizer to be the Messiah (Lk 3:15). Their expectations for a Messiah were too low because Jesus, "Who is mightier" than John, is the Messiah (Lk 3:16).

Peter had seen God work through him to raise Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:40). Under these circumstances, he expected his initial visit to the house of a Gentile to be significant. However, God far exceeded his expectations by pouring out the Holy Spirit on the Gentile, Cornelius, and his entire household (Acts 10:45).

Today, on the last day of the Christmas season, we should have high expectations. The Lord is sure to love us in wondrous ways. Nevertheless, no matter how high our expectations, they will always be too low because they can never match God's infinite love for us.

Because the Lord will do immeasurably more than we can ever ask for or imagine (Eph 3:20), we may not understand what He is doing. However, we must have faith in His promises. We have to expect the Lord to establish "justice on the earth" (Is 42:4), "open the eyes of the blind" (Is 42:7), "bring out prisoners from confinement" (Is 42:7), heal those "in the grip of the devil" (Acts 10:38), baptize us "in the Holy Spirit and in fire" (Lk 3:16), and so much more.

Prayer:  Father, surprise me again with the Holy Spirit. Thank You for this Christmas season.

Promise:  "A voice from heaven was heard to say: 'You are My beloved Son. On You My favor rests.' " —Lk 3:22

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the Christ-Child, Savior of the world, Light of lights, and risen Lord. Alleluia to Him Who was dead and yet lives.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015

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