< <  

Thursday, December 16, 1999

  > >
Isaiah 54:1-10
Psalm 30
Luke 7:24-30

View Readings
Similar Reflections

rejoice, i say it again, repent

"The entire populace that had heard Jesus, even the tax collectors, gave praise to God, for they had received from John the baptismal bath he administered." —Luke 7:29

Today, for the eighth straight day, the Church has brought up John the Baptizer. Do you think Someone is trying to tell us to repent, in fact, to be baptized, that is, immersed in repentance? The only thing that can ruin Christmas is sin. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ except ourselves and our sin (Rm 8:35). If we repent of sin, we will give praise to God this Christmas. If we fail to receive the baptism of repentance, we will defeat God's plan for us this Christmas (Lk 7:30).

Without an Advent Confession, we have very little likelihood of having a real Christmas, that is, a new, personal encounter with Christ. Repent! The Lord is calling "you back, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit" (Is 54:6). "With great tenderness" He wants to take you back (Is 54:7). He promises: "With enduring love I take pity on you...I have sworn not to be angry with you, or to rebuke you" (Is 54:8, 9). "I tell you, there will likewise be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner" (Lk 15:7).

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, take me to the cross. Convict me of sin (Jn 16:8). May I repent in a deeper way than ever before.

Promise:  "Enlarge the space for your tent, spread out your tent cloths unsparingly; lengthen your ropes and make firm your stakes." —Is 54:2

Praise:  After praying before a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lydia repented of using artificial insemination. She and her husband became foster parents of two children whom they eventually adopted.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 21, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1999