THE TREE OF LIFE (see Rv 22:2)

“A family record of Jesus Christ…” –Matthew 1:1

Mass Readings: December 17
First: Genesis 49:2,8-10; Resp: Psalm 72:1-4,7-8,17; Gospel: Matthew 1:1-17

At Christmas time, many families put up a Christmas tree, and on it they hang ornaments. Often each person in the family will have an ornament bearing their name. It’s easy to picture Mom and Dad grabbing little Johnny’s ornament, polishing it, and telling joyful stories about Johnny’s life as they hang it on the tree.

Each one of us is a member of God’s family. We were created in His image (Gn 1:27). Jesus has carved each of us on the palm of His hand (Is 49:16). We are part of the family record of Jesus Christ, for better or for worse (Mt 1:1ff).

Imagine Jesus’ mother Mary handing Him the ornament of your life to hang on the Holy Family’s Christmas tree. You are so important to Jesus that He died on the cross just for you. As He receives your ornament, He caresses it, fingering your name with unimaginable love. He fondly cleans it to be without blemish, applies the Holy Spirit to polish it until it shines, kisses it, sings and rejoices over it (see Zep 3:17), and tenderly hangs it on His family tree. Afterwards, He sits before His family tree, gazes upon your part in His family, and thanks His heavenly Father for your life. Jesus loves you whether or not you have lived your life for His sake.

This Christmas, fill His heart with ever greater joy by offering your heart, mind, soul, hopes, and disappointments to Jesus. Give Him the Christmas present He most desires: your entire life.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, may the ornament of my life bring a smile to Your lips, fruit for Your kingdom, and joy to Your heart.

PROMISE: “In Him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim His happiness.” –Ps 72:17

PRAISE: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, You govern all creation with Your strong yet tender care.”

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