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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

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Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13
Psalm 34
Matthew 21:28-32

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now is the time (see 2 cor 6:2)

"When John came preaching a way of holiness, you put no faith in him." —Matthew 21:32

Are you ready to meet Christ this Christmas? The answer to this question should probably be: "Of course not, how can I be ready for Christmas when Advent isn't over?" We need Advent. In fact, we need every day and every moment of Advent to have a true Christmas. A full Advent is not merely an option; it is a necessity.

When we realize this, we may feel hopeless if we have "goofed off" this Advent. If so, let us cry out to the Lord for mercy. He may multiply the remaining Advent days, or He may give us a delayed Christmas after our late Advent. There is hope for us to have Christmas if we will repent of wasting some of our Advent days and if we will obey God starting now. Jesus remarked that terrible sinners, such as tax collectors and prostitutes, enter God's kingdom because they repent (Mt 21:32). There is hope in His mercy and our repentance.

Better an Advent now than never. Better a late Christmas than none. Live Advent fully — now.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to guide me to the truth of Advent (see Jn 16:13).

Promise:  "I will change and purify the lips of the peoples, that they all may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord." —Zep 3:9

Praise:  Sarah turned her Advent around by deciding to attend daily Mass during the last half of Advent.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on The Necessity of Confession for Renewal on audio AV 70-1 or video V-70.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003