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"The Son of Man will suffer." (Matthew 17: 12)
As we move closer to celebrating the birth of Jesus, this Gospel reading "telegraphs" the fate of Jesus by reminding us of what is going to happen. The baby lying in the manger is destined to die on a cross. We view Christmas through Easter eyes, a reminder that Jesus' path was one of rejection and suffering. This knowledge gives depth and poignancy to the mystery of the incarnation.
Lord God, you came to us as a baby, but grew to be the suffering servant for all humanity. Help us to respond to your love shown through the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. Amen.