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Sunday, December 1, 2019

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First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 2:1-5
Romans 13:11-14
Psalm 122:1-9
Matthew 24:37-44

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a true christmas makes advent a necessity

"Stay awake, therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming." —Matthew 24:42

The meaning of Christmas determines the importance of Advent and even its necessity. If Christmas is primarily the exchange of gifts, partying, and decorating, then we don't need Advent. However, if Christmas is about the reception of the greatest gift of all, salvation in Jesus (see Rm 13:11), then we need all the preparation God wants us to have. We need every precious moment of Advent. It would be foolish to attempt to start the Christmas season early. Also, if Christmas is about such peace on earth and good will to men (see Lk 2:14) that nations don't even train anymore for war (Is 2:4), then it would require an Advent of life-changing, world-shaking conversions to accept Jesus as our Peace (Eph 2:14) and to become peacemakers (Mt 5:9). Moreover, if Christmas is not about artificial lights on trees as much as about Jesus, the Light of the world (see Jn 1:4), then we need an Advent of illuminating repentance.

When Christmas means little, Advent means nothing. When Christmas is nothing less than the coming of Jesus in new glory, then Advent is exceptionally important. Christ is most important; Christmas is very important. Therefore, Advent is a necessity.

Obey God in every detail this Advent. Don't start Christmas early, or you may not even have a true Christmas. Have the best and holiest Advent ever.

Prayer:  Father, on this first day of the Church year, may I begin a new dimension of Kingdom living in my life.

Promise:  "Come, let us climb the Lord's mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may instruct us in His ways, and we may walk in His paths." —Is 2:3

Praise:  "The Father loves me for this: that I lay down My life to take it up again" (Jn 10:17). Praise You, risen Lord Jesus!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 2, 2019

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