“Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us.”

The gospel for Christmas Eve is Zechariah’s Benedictus — his first words after his tongue was loosed at his son John the Baptist’s circumcision (Lk 1:67-79).  He praises God for sending the Savior “He promised of old” (see above).  He also tells how his son is a prophet sent to prepare the way for the Christ.

Yes, Jesus delivered from hate those who believed in Him in His day just as He does in this day.  How can this be true when so many around the world are increasingly being harassed, tortured, and even killed for being Christian?  It is because hate no longer can control us.  Hate is returned with love.  The one who hates has no power over the one who loves in spite of the hate.  Elsewhere Jesus says: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna” (Mt 10:28).  So remain spotless despite the growing abuse.  Pray?  Always.  Speak out (in charity)?  Of course.  Help tangibly our oppressed brothers and sisters around the world?  It is our obligation.  But never lose heart, because Emmanuel (see Mt 1:23).

For this the Holy Spirit came to a young teenager nine months ago to bring forth the fruit of her womb this very night.  Be not afraid, whatever the future holds.  The Savior has come.


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