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Thursday, December 4, 2008

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St. John Damascene

Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

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building lives, years, and christmas

"Anyone who hears My words and puts them into practice is like the wise man who built his house on rock." —Matthew 7:24

Jesus, being a carpenter, thinks in terms of building. For instance, He thinks that life is like building a house. Our lives must be founded on Him, the Rock-Foundation (1 Cor 3:11), or they will collapse under the stress of the storms of life (Mt 7:26-27). We found our lives unshakably on Christ by hearing and obeying His words (Mt 7:24).

This new church year also is like building a house. If we establish and strengthen our foundation on the Lord during these Advent and Christmas seasons, we will spend this year building an "edifice of spirit" (1 Pt 2:5) for God's glory. Otherwise, our faith will erode and gradually be undermined during this new year. We must start the year with a solid Advent and strong Christmas.

This Advent is also like building a house, the house of Christmas. Christmas will not just appear twenty-one days from now; it must be built. As we repent, forgive, go to Confession, pray, fast, evangelize, serve, and suffer in obedience to the Lord, we will see the Lord, God, Carpenter, and Baby of Bethlehem form Christmas in us and then in the world.

Prayer:  Father, may I obey You this Advent as never before.

Promise:  "A nation of firm purpose You keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in You." —Is 26:3

Praise:  St. John Damascene's severed hand was restored through the intercession of the Blessed Mother.

Reference:  (Is your life built firmly on Christ? Strengthen your foundation through Presentation Ministries' retreats this coming year. Call 937-587-5464 or 513-373-2397 for a schedule of events.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008

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