From the darkened world of , let's be reminded that the drama of the ages begins in Bethlehem. To this very day, all manner of disorder, pain, or peril can best be understood by stepping toward the manger, whose humble inhabitants kindly bid us forward — we who are encumbered with mad tidings, our news disheartening, appalling, and unparalleled.
The Finest Gifts Plus
Indeed, more than 2, years after the birth of Christ, the Herods of the world are still having their way. Persecution of Christians, for instance, "is stronger than in the first centuries of the Church," says Pope Francis.
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From North Korea and Indonesia, through the Middle East, Africa, and all the way to the Americas, there are mobs, militias, assassins, and entire regimes intent on wiping Christianity off the map. Each month, more than Christians are killed for their faith; more than Christian properties are destroyed; and more than forms of violence are committed against Christians, such as beatings, abductions, rapes, arrests, and forced marriages — this according to Open Doors USA, a watchdog group that advocates for Christians around the world.
More than 2, years after the birth of Christ, the weak are still forced to flee their homelands. More than 60 million people are now displaced, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. That's four times more than merely a decade ago, a result of land grabs, pogroms, and civil wars, most especially affecting our non-Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East and Africa.
More than 2, years after the birth of Christ, the innocents are still being slaughtered — but at a pace Herod himself could never have imagined.
The Finest Gift Lyrics - Clint Black
Each day, approximately , babies are aborted, according to the World Health Organization. More than 2, years after the birth of Christ, two armies continue to square off, each with its own factions and followers. We are obligated to choose a side. The Herods of the world still seek to slay the essence of love. The magi still summon the courage to thwart them.
“Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift.”
The Herods anchor themselves to the possessions and obsessions of the material world. The magi open their treasures for the weak and the meek.
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The Herods take the torch of their ancestor to scorch the earth. The magi understand the Herods may know not what they do.
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The Herods are found in high places and low, everywhere that hatred is given a dwelling place. The magi are found in all who listen to the voice of Heaven spoken through Scripture and the witnesses of the saints and martyrs. The magi of the world know they, too, can be led astray. They recognize the Herods of their own hearts.
They know they are susceptible to the temptations to double back toward the monarch's earthly palace. But they prayerfully recall the radiant face of Mary who stands beside the Christ Child.
They know that at Fatima and elsewhere, she attempts to checkmate the Herods of the world through her instructions to love through prayer and penance. The magi of the world have felt the bitter blows. They've experienced the loneliness of the outnumbered.
They know faith is not for the faint of heart; that we may be asked to pay in blood; that the earth is not our final resting place; that by joining the army of angels, we arm ourselves only with love, forgiveness, and compassion — weaponry that leaves us vulnerable. This Christmas, let's step from the shadows and present ourselves before the Child who summons all. Office Services Internet Education - Secondary Entertainment Eating Out Nights Out Corporate Events Legal Insurance Pharmacies Interiors Chemicals Metal Products Design Telecommunications Community Groups Social Services Shops Fashion Leisure Goods Self Improvement Organisations Tourism Accommodation Holiday Services Daytime Activities