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Monday, December 3, 2007

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St. Francis Xavier

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

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"I rejoiced because they said to me, 'We will go up to the house of the Lord.' " —Psalm 122:1

As Advent begins, the Church's eucharistic Scriptures invite us to come home. Isaiah exhorts us to come to God's house (Is 2:3, 5). Jesus prophesies that "many will come...and will find a place" in His kingdom (Mt 8:11). Jesus invites us to Himself, saying: "Come to Me" (Mt 11:28).

However, these voices aren't the only ones inviting us to come. Merchants relentlessly persuade us to come to their stores, visit Santa, and spend lots of money. Relatives, co-workers, and friends want us to come to "holiday" parties.

We can't please all these competing voices. If we don't make a determined choice to come to the Lord this Advent, then Satan will gladly utilize the hubbub of the worldly December to rob us of precious time each day. Continually saying "Yes" to the demands of the world means that we by default say "No" to Jesus (see Mt 6:24). Saying "Yes" to Jesus means that we will have to consciously say "No" to a number of worldly December events.

Turn off the voices on the TV and radio, and listen to God's voice in Scripture. Put Jesus at the top of your Christmas list. Each day of Advent, make it a priority to come to God's Christmas party, that is, Holy Mass, the banquet of the Lamb. Those who come to God's house "overcome the world" (see Jn 16:33). Come, let us go to the house of the Lord (Ps 122:1). "O come, let us adore Him."

Prayer:  Jesus, may You be joyfully amazed (Mt 8:10) by the changes in my lifestyle this Advent.

Promise:  "I will come and cure him." —Mt 8:7

Praise:  St. Francis Xavier rejoiced in being able to lead many Asians to Jesus.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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