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Knowing Christ from the Beginning

First Reading: 1 John 2:12-17

I am writing to you, children,
because your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake.

I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men,
because you have conquered the Evil One.

I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,
because you are strong and the word of God remains in you,
and you have conquered the Evil One.

Do not love the world or the things of the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life,
is not from the Father but is from the world.
Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.
But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 96:7-8A, 8B-9, 10

R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Bring gifts, and enter his courts;
worship the LORD in holy attire.
Tremble before him, all the earth.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Gospel: Luke 2:36-40

There was a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

NAB

dec 31 (1)

Anna is both an interesting and mysterious biblical figure to me. She is presented in Scripture as an older woman, who basically hangs around the temple night and day praying and fasting. She isn’t just an ancient ‘church lady,’ but rather a prophetess who recognizes the infant Christ child for who He really is—Our Savior.

I find the reading a bit understated when it ways she “gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem,” but let’s think about what she was actually giving thanks for. The birth of the Messiah! The redemption of her people. After decades of fasting and prayer she gets to meet and recognize our Infant King. Reading the Psalms I can hear her voice proclaiming the words (even though they weren’t actually hers), for surely her blessed heart was on fire for Him.

A holy day has dawned upon us.

Come, you nations, and adore the Lord.

Today a great light has come upon the earth.

As we celebrate his Birth during this season of Christmas, we have the opportunity to continue to proclaim His Lordship and Divinity.

This is His season. It is easy to be distracted by the secular aspects that seem to take over Christmas, but regardless of how this world treats His birthday, it is still His day. It is up to us to turn from the secular and proclaim who and what Christ is. He is the King of King and Lord of Lords. He is the Great Light, which has come upon the earth. And like Anna, we have known Him who is from the beginning. So let us give him honor by giving Him our lives.

How do we recognize the Christ among us? Are we able to turn from the distractions of the world to see Him? How you proclaim His coming as you celebrate this season of His birth?

MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here

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