Put on the new self

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The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord:
Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God:
January 1, 2013

At the Holy Hour
Eph 4:22-24, 4:30–5:2

We stand upon the brink of a new year. 2012, with all that it meant, is receding into the past: all its joys, all its sorrows, all of our choices and actions that we are proud of, all of those that we wish we could do over; all now behind us. And ahead of us, at our very feet, opens the vista of 2013: untrodden, unknown, open, full of possibilities.

On Christmas Day in 1939, King George VI of England quoted from a poem in his radio message. He read:

Who is the baby Jesus? Get it right, or Santa might punch you in the nose!

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Christmas, Mass during the Day: Dec. 25, 2011
Isa 52:7-10; Ps 98:1-6; Heb 1:1-6; John 1:1-5, 9-14

Did you ever hear the story about the time that Santa Claus punched someone? No? Well, I’ll tell it to you. It happened a very long time ago, almost 17 centuries ago, in a city in what is now Turkey. How it came about—that’s a long story!  And, in fact, it actually has something to do with the Gospel reading we just heard.

And maybe you’re thinking: “Yeah, I can see why that Gospel reading would irritate someone. I was expecting a Christmas reading, with shepherds and angels; and instead that was completely different.”

Well, this reading from the beginning of the Gospel of John really is a Christmas reading—just from a different perspective. (more…)