first come, first serve
"Why do the scribes claim that Elijah must come first?" —Matthew 17:10
Before the Messiah comes, Elijah must come and restore everything (Mt 17:11). Before Christ's Christmas coming, people like Elijah and John the Baptizer must come into our lives. Before we will be ready for Christmas, we need to hear prophetic words which will lead us to repentance. We need to hear the two-edged sword of God's word so that it will penetrate our hearts and judge our thoughts and reflections (Heb 4:12). We must be immersed in the baptism of repentance (Lk 3:3) before becoming immersed in Christmas festivities. Otherwise, we will not meet Christ in our Christmas activities; rather, we will miss Him amid all our Christmas distractions.
Therefore, don't even think about Christmas. Think Advent. Don't act as if Christmas has already come. Focus on John the Baptizer, not Santa. Seek prophecy (1 Cor 14:1), repentance, restoration, and Confession. Christmas will be an obstacle between you and the Lord unless you prepare the way of the Lord (Mt 3:3). We need a holy Advent to have a blessed Christmas.
Prayer: Father, enable me to understand that I need Advent before Christmas as much as a mother needs pregnancy before giving birth.
Promise: "You are destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the Lord, to turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to reestablish the tribes of Jacob." —Sir 48:10
Praise: John endured brutality and intense persecution because he would not compromise the ideal that priests should be completely abandoned to Jesus.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996