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All Issues > Volume 32, Issue 1

<< Monday, December 21, 2015 >> St. Peter Canisius
Song of Songs 2:8-14 or
Zephaniah 3:14-18

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Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21
Luke 1:39-45

Similar Reflections


"Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel." —Zephaniah 3:14

Christmas is Jesus' birthday. Birthday parties often feature shouting and singing. The birthday boy or girl usually shouts when opening the presents. Then, of course, everybody sings "Happy Birthday." If Jesus is going to have a real birthday party this Christmas, we must give Him presents that will get Him to shout and "sing one sings at festivals" (Zep 3:17-18). Pretty packages, a cake, and candles will not get Jesus to sing. In fact, it's difficult to give Him a birthday or Christmas gift because He already has everything — with one exception.

The present that gives God and all of heaven more joy than anything else is repentance and conversion (Lk 15:7). When we take the plank out of our own eye and then take the speck out of others' eyes, we get God to shout and sing (Mt 7:5). When we proceed "in haste into the hill country" (Lk 1:39) or into the highways and byways (Lk 14:23) and lead people to Christ, this also calls for a song. As He sings, we sing: "My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my Savior" (Lk 1:46-47). Then we have a real birthday party and a real Christmas.

Prayer: Jesus, on this first day of winter I ask for a spiritual springtime.
Promise: "Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come! For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth." —Sg 2:10-12
Praise: "O Radiant Dawn, Splendor of eternal light, Sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death."
(For a related teaching, order our tape Pray for Revival on audio AV 56-1 or video V-56 or listen or download CD 56-1 or DVD 56 at
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 32, Issue 1
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