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Saturday, December 5, 1998

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Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
Psalm 147
Matthew 9:35—10:1, 6-8

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open <u>before</u> christmas!

Jesus "summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority to expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease of every kind." —Matthew 10:1

Many people are interested in what they are going to get for Christmas, but we should also be very excited about what we are getting before Christmas. Sometimes what we receive before Christmas is a prerequisite for receiving what the Lord wants to give us for Christmas.

Sometimes one of our before-Christmas presents is a healing, which often leads to receiving another Christmas present. The Lord promised to bind up "the wounds of His people" and heal our bruises (Is 30:26). Jesus "cured every sickness and disease" (Mt 9:35). He gave His Church authority "to cure sickness and disease of every kind" (Mt 10:1). He even commanded us to "cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons" (Mt 10:8). Immediately before receiving Holy Communion, the Church leads us to pray from the Bible: "Lord, only say the word, and I shall be healed" (see Mt 8:8).

Receive healing as one of your Advent presents. Ask someone or several people to lay hands on you and bring you God's healing. Especially ask members of your family or people you don't like to let the Lord heal you through them. After you receive God's healing or something better, get ready to receive your next Advent present and Christmas presents. O come, O come Emmanuel, Healer, Lord, and God!

Prayer:  Father, work through me to give healings as before-Christmas presents and Christmas presents.

Promise:  "He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as He hears He will answer you." —Is 30:19

Praise:  Wanda read Mt 25:36: I was "in prison and you came to visit Me." She took this verse to heart, and began a prison ministry that has reached many hundreds of prisoners.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order Healing: The Imitation of Christ.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998