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The good news for the day December 29, 2016

The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas (202)

The old man Simeon came with God’s creativity (“the Spirit”) into the place for prayer. When his parents brought the child Jesus there to perform the ritual custom for him, Simeon took the baby into his arms and prayed to God, saying: “Master, now release your servant in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have observed the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of the whole world—a light that reveals You to all nations—and the importance of your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother were surprised at what was said about Him! Simeon blessed them, addressing his mother Mary, “Take notice! This child has a destiny that will affect the fall and rise of so many in Israel, and to be significant enough that it will cause contradictions—you yourself a sword will pierce—so that hidden thinking of many a heart may be exposed.” (Luke 2)

A child is hugged and held by a grandfatherly person who sees that This Child (and, in the end, every child, including you) affects history, brings contradictions, exposes the secrets of hearts—and often brings a stab wound to a mother’s heart (our expression is ‘breaks a mother’s heart’).

You are that Child. You are that Child. Brought to God in innocence (church, synagogue, mosque, etc.—or no place of prayer at all) and raw before your Creator, you too will effect the “fall and rise” of many. What you do—the shape your life takes—will mean you resent or help others; You can become a relentless ego, seething with antagonism, or you can maintain a habit of selfless caring. You can bring defensive anger directed at everybody–or else a habit of understanding and forgiveness.

You become a “sign of contradiction”—a response triggered in others by what you do—who you are—what you say. Your mother may see you crucified by haters for your goodness—and endure that broken heart of your suffering. The Good News is that each day you Have Life, and Give Life—and, yes, start a New Life.

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