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All Issues > Volume 24, Issue 1

<< Sunday, December 9, 2007 >> Second Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 11:1-10
Romans 15:4-9

View Readings
Psalm 72
Matthew 3:1-12

Similar Reflections


"They were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins." —Matthew 3:6

Before Christmas, we must take a bath. In fact, we should take two baths, a baptismal bath "in water for the sake of reform" and a bath "in the Holy Spirit and fire" (Mt 3:11). Unlike the bath in water, this fire-baptism removes impurities from even the most precious metals.

Do you remember when as a youngster you didn't want to take a bath? Adults have a much greater reluctance to take the baths of repentance and fire-purification. We're afraid of what God may find if we expose our nakedness and dirt to Him. Of course, God already knows us. He can see right through us. But we're afraid to see ourselves. We have suppressed many of our sinful patterns out of our consciousness and into our subconsciousness. Here they have even greater influence on us since our subconscious motivates most of our actions.

We must give Jesus freedom to go to our heart of darkness. Pray now: "Cleanse me from my unknown faults!" (Ps 19:13) "Probe me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; see if my way is crooked, and lead me in the way of old" (Ps 139:23-24).

Prayer: "May God, the Source of all patience and encouragement, enable you to live in perfect harmony with one another according to the Spirit of Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and voice you may glorify God" (Rm 15:5-6).
Promise: "There shall be no harm or ruin on all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea." —Is 11:9
Praise: Praise You, Jesus, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8). Praise You for transforming multitudes of lives this Advent.
(For a related teaching, order our tape Effects of Sin on audio AV 81-3 or video V-81.)
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, 2007 through January 31, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007.
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 24, Issue 1
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