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Christmas Eve

December 24, 2008

Blessed Christmas Eve!

Readings (Mass in the morning):
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-11, 16 (God will establish a house for David forever)
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29 “For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord”
+ Luke 1:67-79 (Zachariah’s song at John’s birth)

“King David was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side” (II Samuel 7:1).

The same God Who gave King David rest from his enemies then promised him a “house”, a throne that will stand firm forever. The peace of that day was a temporary, earthly peace. The throne collapsed beneath the weight of sin just a few generations later. But God’s promise remained.

Some thousand years later, in the midst of a new, temporary, earthly peace, the promise stirred anew: “…the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king…the whole world being at peace…Jesus Christ…was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary” (Christmas Proclamation).

We are within sight of that day. Zachariah, unable to speak since his encounter with an angel, has been living with this promise, hidden in Mary’s womb, for three months now. His tongue finally loosed upon the naming of his son, he can’t contain his joy:

“Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel…He has raised a horn of saving strength for us in the house of David His servant” (Luke 1:68, 69).

The throne of David is raised in strength. Not only that, but this throne will fulfill God’s promise of peace: “He, the Dayspring, shall visit us in His mercy…to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1: 78, 79).

This is not merely a temporary, earthly peace. It’s not the constant insecurity of an uneasy truce. This is the new dawn of an eternal day. This is a peace of deliverance from our enemies, a peace rid of fear, to last through all our days. It is the peace of holiness. “[He swore] that, rid of fear and delivered from the enemy, we should serve Him devoutly, and through all our days be holy in His sight” (Luke 1:74-75). Jesus came to deliver us from our mortal enemy, sin, that we might live fearlessly in the eternal peace of holiness. We walk in His Light for length of days.

“The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy; but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the sinful desires of the flesh” (Romans 13:12-14).

As this dawn brightens our horizons, let’s fix our eyes on the light of life (John 8:12), the light of those who walked in darkness (Isaiah 9:1), the bright Morning Star (Revelation 22:16), the Sun of Justice Who has risen with healing in His rays (Malachi 3:20). May we act in truth, so that we will be glad, not afraid, to have our deeds exposed in His divine light (see John 3:19-21)

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