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All Issues > Volume 28, Issue 1

<< Saturday, December 10, 2011 >>
Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
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Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19 Matthew 17:9-13
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"Elijah has already come, but they did not recognize him." —Matthew 17:12

The prophetic ministry of Elijah prepared the way for John the Baptizer's prophetic ministry. John prophesied "in the spirit and power of Elijah" (Lk 1:17). Jesus even stated that John "is Elijah" (Mt 11:14). Elijah prepared the way for John, who came to "prepare the way of the Lord" (Mt 3:3).

God prepared the way for His Son's coming for centuries. He sent prophet after prophet. He gave visions, warnings, and encouragements. In fact, the entire Old Testament points to the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.

If God, Who is all-knowing and always ready, spent centuries preparing for Christmas, then we, who know so little and are often unprepared for the future, surely need at least four weeks of Advent to prepare for Christ's Christmas coming. We need Elijah's ministry of fire (Sir 48:1, 3) to burn away the "holiday" distractions and fill us with the fire of the Holy Spirit to be prepared to welcome Jesus. We need to be immersed in John's "baptism of repentance" this Advent (Mk 1:4). Our sincere Advent Confession removes "speed bumps" of sin (see Lk 3:5), which prevent us from being quick to welcome Jesus. Instead of preparing for the "holidays" by attending Christmas parties, we need to prepare for "Christ-Mass" by attending Christmas banquets, that is, Advent Masses, the eucharistic banquets of the Lamb. "Prepare the way of the Lord" this Advent, and have the Christmas of a lifetime.

Prayer: Father, this Advent, may I "learn to value the things that really matter" in life (Phil 1:10). I devote my life to seeking Jesus.
Promise: "Give us new life, and we will call upon Your name." —Ps 80:19
Praise: Maria spends her Advent in prayer and in preparing her heart for the coming of her Lord.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2011 through January 31, 2012.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011.
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.
Volume 28, Issue 1
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