“In those days, in that time, I will raise up for David a just Shoot.” —Jeremiah 33:15
Happy New Year! Today we celebrate the first day of the new Church year and of Advent. Today, in a spiritual sense, we conceive new life and prepare to give birth to that life in the Christmas season. Advent is similar to pregnancy, in that we carry, protect, and nurture Christ’s new life within us (see Rm 6:4). We must take care not to do anything which might hurt the baby. Therefore, the Church warns us: “Be on guard lest your spirits become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares” (Lk 21:34). Just as a mother’s smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs can have bad effects on her baby, so our sinful preoccupation with “worldly cares” can damage or even abort the new life of Advent.
We should begin this year and this spiritual pregnancy by going to Confession. By repenting, we remove things which stifle the growth of God’s life within us (see 2 Cor 7:10). We should also simplify our lives, freeing up more time to pray, read God’s Word, evangelize, and share fellowship. We should be nourished and rested in our pregnancy. TV, videos, and compulsive use of our handheld electronic devices could very well smother our new life in God. Advent, like pregnancy, is a wonderful time as long as we carefully protect and nourish the new life within us.
Prayer: Father, increase us and make us “overflow with love for one another” (1 Thes 3:12).
Promise: “When these things begin to happen, stand erect and hold your heads high, for your deliverance is near at hand.”
Praise: “He will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces; the reproach of His people He will remove from the whole earth; for the Lord has spoken” (Is 25:8). Praise the risen Jesus!
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 October 1, 2021 through November 30, 2021. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Vicar General, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio April 14, 2021"
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.