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Sunday, December 7, 2003

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Second Sunday of Advent

Baruch 5:1-9
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
Psalm 126
Luke 3:1-6

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come home for christmas

"God will bring them back." —Baruch 5:6

Imagine your children being "led away on foot" by your enemies (Bar 5:6). Imagine your son handcuffed and led off to prison. What if your children were exiled in a foreign land and you would probably never see them again? This is similar to what the Jewish people went through at the Babylonian exile. About forty years later, Yahweh did one of His greatest miracles. He freed the Jewish exiles, and they returned home.

The Church brings this to our attention because this Christmas the Lord wants to bring our children home to Him. He wants those imprisoned and exiled to repent of their sins and to come to Him this Christmas.

At this moment, some people are probably going into hell. They smell a rancid, putrid odor. They hear shrieks and howls. They are attacked and beaten by demons. They live in unimaginable pain and terror.

At this moment, some people are probably going into heaven. They are "borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones" (Bar 5:6). They are indescribably joyful (see 1 Pt 1:8) and radiant. They are being embraced by Jesus and by their family and friends who have died in Christ. They are perfectly happy forever.

Come home to Jesus for Christmas. It makes all the difference in the world — and beyond the world.

Prayer:  Father, may I have an everlasting Christmas party in heaven with no one missing.

Promise:  "All mankind shall see the salvation of God." —Lk 3:6

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Emmanuel, "God-with-us" (see Mt 1:23), risen Lord, Savior, and God!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Am I Going to Heaven? on audio AV 54-3 or video V-54.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003