ADVENT TO THE MAX
''...a herald's voice in the desert: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His path.' '' — Matthew 3:3
The purpose of Advent is to prepare the way of the Lord, Who is coming to us in a new personal way this Christmas season. But there are different kinds and degrees of preparation. The Church teaches with John the Baptist that our preparation for Christ's coming this Christmas needs to be very extensive. We even need a baptism of repentance, that is, to be immersed in repentance (see Mt 3:11).
Our preparation for Christ this Christmas is comparable to a major excavation where mountains are made low and the fill dirt is used to fill in the valleys so as to make a rough road smooth and a crooked road straight (Lk 3:5). While the world gives us the picture of Santa Claus with a bag of presents, the Church presents the scene of the wild prophet, John the Baptist, driving a Komatsu super earth-mover to bury our sins.
Very few of us believe that Christmas is so great and we are so sinful as to require such an earthquake of preparation. However, the Church is right. We need a big Advent to have a true Christmas.
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit so that I will not minimize but maximize Advent.
Promise: "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord." —Is 11:2
Praise: "God freed him from death's bitter pangs, however, and raised him up again, for it was impossible that death should keep its hold on him" (Acts 2:24). Alleluia!
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2019 through January 31, 2020.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 2, 2019.
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.