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New Bethlehem Heart
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"New Bethlehem Heart"

"Pleased as man with us to dwell; Jesus, our Emmanuel!"       

          Christmas is about God and about humanity because in Jesus both God and humanity have "embraced"--forever! God has Loved us to the point of becoming one of us. His is a Love that is irresistibly empathetic--drawn to the heart of hurting, sinful humanity: "For today I MUST stay at your house" (Luke. 19:5B). He has freely chosen to fully participate in our human condition--embracing our human nature with an overwhelming Love in a heart passionately alive in the world (see God Day By Day. Vol. IV, pp;131, 70).

           Jesus has entered personally into the drama of human life: Joy, prayer, hunger and thirst, laughter and tears, sorrow, pain and death--with a human heart filled with tender, Eternal Love: "Love's Pure Light". He has come not just to live close to our human bodies, but rather to live close to our hearts as one of us. Jesus is the L.A.M.B. (Love And Mercy Begotten): He reveals the Father's "personality" as Love and Mercy, tenderness and friendship. He makes the Love and Mercy of the Father visible and proximate in the world: "The Lord is compassion and love" (Ps. 103:8). Jesus is the plea from the Father's "Heart": Let me Love you! Let me draw near to your heart! Christmas calls intercessors to always live close both to the heart of God and to the heart of humanity--and to love both passionately. This is the interiority that we are called to pray from.

          Through the Incarnation, God has associated himself with every human being: "In his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man" (CCC 618). Intercessors  are called to identify with humanity with an "intensity of love". Because of Christmas our love must be fully "incarnate"--flesh and blood--for all: "I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for ALL the people" (Luke. 2:10): No one is meant to be a "stranger in the manger" of my heart; "The grace of God has appeared, saving ALL" (Titus 2:11):

"At other times they are enkindled by the Spirit with such love and exultation that, were it possible, they would clasp in their embrace ALL mankind, without discrimination, good and bad alike" ("From a homily by a spiritual writer of the fourth century". LH. Vol. III, p. 162).

          Christmas is about the birth of the "new humanity" of Jesus Christ in the world. Jesus has come to us in the "mature" humanity of one who knows only one thing: Love. His life models for us what a truly whole and holy human nature looks like. Intercessors desire to be healed and purified--"transformed into the same image from glory to glory" (2  Cor. 3:18)--into his new, mature humanity: "Cast out our sin and enter in; Be born in us today." (from verse #4 of the song, "O Little Town of Bethlehem"). May we and those whom we plead for experience "a new and glorious morn" rising in our hearts this Christmas.   

Questions:

1)    Has the Holy Spirit placed a particular burden on my heart to pray for at this time?

     2) What is being healed and/or purified in my life at this time?

Scriptures:

Any scripture cited in the text; Is. 62:1-5; Lk. 2:10-11 ; Titus 2:11-14; Titus 3:4-7

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-SEVEN, TIME TO STORM HEAVEN"

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