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Monday, December 6, 2010

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St. Nicholas

Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 85:9-14
Luke 5:17-26

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"Some men came along carrying a paralytic." —Luke 5:18

There are many kinds of paralysis — physical, spiritual, emotional, etc. Maybe you had good intentions for Advent. You were really going to prepare for Christ's Christmas-coming this year. Your spirit is willing, but your flesh is weak (Mt 26:41). You even made more resolutions to keep the first resolutions. This didn't result in better discipline but in an even bigger pile of unkept resolutions.

You're paralyzed. Maybe there's a family member, relative, or co-worker that you should tell about Jesus. You've thought about it and almost done it several times, but you're paralyzed. Maybe you don't have much prayer in your marriage and family. You know you should invite your spouse to pray, but it seems like such a "big deal." You're paralyzed by the fears and patterns of your life.

The physically paralyzed can have a great Christmas and everlasting life. Those paralyzed in other ways cannot. Therefore, we must take our paralysis to the Lord. If we're too paralyzed to do that, we should let someone carry us in prayer. Jesus will say: "My friend, your sins are forgiven you" (Lk 5:20). If we repent, we will receive healing, and Jesus will free us from paralysis now, in time for Christmas.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I not deceive myself into thinking self-indulgence and compulsive behavior are expressions of freedom (Gal 5:13). Jesus, You, You alone, can set me free (Jn 8:36).

Promise:  "They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee." —Is 35:10

Praise:  St. Nicholas knew the joy of giving and the joy of receiving from the Giver of all good. He gave gifts that freed others from poverty and sin, especially the sin of impurity.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, The Truth Will Set You Free.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 28, 2010

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