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All Issues > Volume 28, Issue 1

<< Wednesday, December 21, 2011 >> St. Peter Canisius
Song of Songs 2:8-14 or
Zephaniah 3:14-18

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Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21 Luke 1:39-45
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"Arise, My beloved, My beautiful one, and come!" —Song of Songs 2:10, 13

Despite the constant hype the world gives to Christmas, the world only wants a minimal Christmas. People are programmed to be happy with "two front teeth," a new PlayStation, fur coat, diamond ring, Barbie doll, power tool, or even a new car. The world proclaims that getting this for Christmas is a maximum Christmas. When you focus on the gifts instead of the Giver of the gifts, you've set yourself up for a minimal Christmas.

The world is not ready to receive the incarnate Love of the Lord for Christmas. That's why we need Advent: to help us prepare to raise our expectations to receive the earth-shaking, maximum Christmas God has for us. The Lord shouts to us: "Arise" (Sg 2:10, 13). He calls us to rise above our meager expectations. In the northern USA, we expect snow; God expects a new springtime in the Spirit (Sg 2:11ff). We expect family gatherings; God expects us to take our royal place in His glorious family (Jn 3:5; Mt 12:50). We expect good tidings; God sends the Good News by sending His only Son, Jesus (Jn 1:14). We expect delicious Christmas treats; God expects Christ-Mass, featuring the eucharistic banquet of the Lamb. We expect the Christmas Spirit; God expects us to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:41). We expect Christmas carols; God provides His own music as He sings joyfully about us (Zep 3:17).

Raise your expectations and have yourself a Mary Christ-Mass.

Prayer: Father, may I expand my vision (see Is 54:2-3) and never limit You to a worldly Christmas. Maranatha!
Promise: "Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled." —Lk 1:45
Praise: "O Radiant Dawn, Splendor of Eternal Light, Sun of Justice, come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death."
(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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