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Saturday, January 6, 2018

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St. André Bessette

1 John 5:5-13
Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20
Mark 1:7-11
or Luke 3:23-38

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christmas misery

"God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." —1 John 5:11

We ask everyone if they had a good holiday and Christmas season, and they all say "Fine." Yet behind those sad smiles and between the lines of our "small talk," we sense a deep hurt, severe depression, unrepentant sin, and devastating bondage. Marriages are destroyed; bitterness and resentment poison family life; hearts are broken by rejection. Some mourn over the death and loss of loved ones. Some have lost contact with God because of sin and self. Many have had a terrible Christmas.

You don't have to smile faintly and tell Jesus about your "nice" Christmas. He sees your sin and pain and "leprosy." Bow "down to the ground" before the Christ Child and say to Him: "Lord, if You will to do so, You can cure me" (Lk 5:12). Jesus will stretch out His hand, touch you, and say: "I do will it. Be cured" (Lk 5:13). Jesus wills Christmas for us. He wills life, repentance, and healing. He wills salvation for us. Remember the laborers in the vineyard who got the full day's pay even though hired at the last minute (Mt 20:9). Jesus wants to give you the fullness of Christmas, no matter what has happened and how late it is. "I have written this to you to make you realize that you possess eternal life — you who believe in the name of the Son of God" (1 Jn 5:13).

Prayer:  Father, not by my might, not by my power, but by Your Spirit, I will have Christmas (Zec 4:6).

Promise:  "Who, then, is conqueror of the world? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." —1 Jn 5:5

Praise:  St. André did not have great intelligence and was rejected as a candidate for the Brothers of the Holy Cross at the end of his novitiate. Yet he persevered, and eventually people from all over North America came to him for spiritual direction and healings.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2017

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