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Monday, December 3, 2001

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St. Francis Xavier

Isaiah 4:2-6
Psalm 122
Matthew 8:5-11

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christmas orders

"I am not worthy to have You under my roof. Just give an order." —Matthew 8:8

On this second day of Advent, we must be careful to get off to a good start. We need to come to the Lord, to Mass, to prayer, and to repentance when the Lord orders us to come (see Mt 8:9). We also need to do good, do justice (Is 1:17), and do His will when Jesus commands us: "Do this" (see Mt 8:9). Jesus is God and He alone knows how to prepare us for His special coming this Christmas. Consequently, with the centurion we should say to Jesus: "Just give an order" (Mt 8:8).

It's so easy to let Advent slip away and become so distracted and self-absorbed at Christmas time that we miss Christ's coming. The Church has had centuries of Advents. It has learned (often the hard way) that the Lord has decided to make Advent necessary for us to get ready to meet Him. So let us ask the Lord what His will is for us this Advent. Let us obey the Lord more carefully than we would obey a corporation paying us millions of dollars or a doctor trying to save our lives if we were critically ill. Christ's coming this Christmas is more important than wealth or health. Seek to find God's orders for you this Advent. Then obey Him carefully.

Prayer:  Jesus, Good Shepherd, lead me to a Christmas encounter with You.

Promise:  "The branch of the Lord will be luster and glory, and the fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor." —Is 4:2

Praise:  St. Francis helped offset the damage some Catholics had done to the Church. He did this by his example, by his preaching, and by writing verses on Christian truths set to popular tunes.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001