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Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

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extreme heart makeover

“Trust in the Lord forever!” —Isaiah 26:4

Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. Just as a mother has nine months to prepare her home for the arrival of her baby, so we have four weeks to prepare the way of the Lord in our life. It’s easy to give Jesus only lip-service, and not life-service (see Mk 7:6-7). A litmus test for our hearts is to compare our lifestyle and our actions against the Word of God:

1)      Are you keeping God’s commandments? Jesus says: “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (see Jn 14:21; 15:10).

2)      Are you allowing God’s Kingdom to come? For example, when you pray the Our Father, you tell God “Your will be done,” but if you are contracepting, you block His life so that His Kingdom cannot come (see Mt 6:10).

3)      Are you behaving like an orphan, even though you are a child of God? For example, are you fearful that you can’t feed your family, even though Almighty God has promised to provide for you? (Mt 6:32-34)

There are many other Scriptures by which we can measure our hearts against God’s Word. Does your lifestyle show that your heart trusts in God? “Fear is useless; what is needed is trust” (Mk 5:36). Ask the Lord this Advent to give you a new heart (Ez 36:26).

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, not knowing Scripture means not knowing You (Catechism, 133). This Advent, I devote myself to relating to You by Your standards (see 2 Cor 5:16).

Promise:  “None of those who cry out, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.” —Mt 7:21

Praise:  When he prayed for God’s help in a spirit of total surrender, Steven received the grace to overcome his addiction.

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

Rescript:  In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from December 1, 2022, through January 31, 2023. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio April 12, 2022

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.