"I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go." —Isaiah 48:17
To have the Christmas God intends for us, we must simply obey God and not be selfish. Spoiled brats who insist that everyone dance to their tune will not have Christmas (see Mt 11:16-17). However, those who are like Mary will have a true Christmas. They hearken to God's commands (Is 48:18) and let Christmas be done unto them according to God's word (see Lk 1:38).
The key to Christmas is not self-indulgence, but self-surrender in obedience to the Lord, doing what we don't want to do. We should not do our own thing but God's thing. We should not try to feel good but please the Lord. If we want to follow Jesus to Christmas, we must deny our very selves, take up the cross each day (Lk 9:23), and obey the Lord.
To prepare for Christ's Christmas coming, we should:
- Repent of our disobedience and go to Confession.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to alert us to opportunities to obey the Lord.
- Pray for the strength to obey.
The Lord has a wonderful Christmas planned for us. It is more than we can ask for or imagine (Eph 3:20). We just have to follow instructions. "Mary" Christmas!
Prayer: Jesus, may I love You as Mary loved You at the first Christmas.
Promise: "Time will prove where wisdom lies." —Mt 11:19
Praise: St. John was able to surrender all by writing beautiful poetry while living in deplorable conditions.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape The Necessity of Confession for Renewal on audio AV 70-1 or video V-70.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007
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