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Thursday, December 4, 2014

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St. John of Damascus

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. A litmus test for our hearts is to compare our lifestyle and our actions against the Word of God. It's easy to give Jesus only lip-service, and not life-service.

  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, if you are contracepting, when you pray the Our Father, you tell God "Your will be done," but 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? 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 knowing 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:  St. John helped others to grow deeper in faith by the many theological works and tracts about truth that he wrote.

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014

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