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Sunday, December 21, 1997

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

Micah 5:1-4
Psalm 80
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45

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the long-awaited one

"Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" —Luke 1:43

During the days of the prophets Micah and Isaiah, things were bad and getting worse. The poor were oppressed, the threat of war overshadowed life, and God's people were not about to repent. In the midst of this darkness, the Lord gave His people hope by announcing through Micah that someday Someone would be born in Bethlehem Who would bring peace and be Peace (Mi 5:4).

God's people waited over 700 years for the Ruler-Shepherd of Bethlehem. He was named "Jesus," that is, "Savior," and He is our Peace (Eph 2:14). In fact, He is our Lord and God (see Jn 20:28).

During 1997, the Catholic Church throughout the world has been focused even more on Jesus in preparation for the celebration of His 2000th birthday. This Christmas, this Advent, today, isn't it time to give everything to Jesus — to live no longer for ourselves but for Him? (2 Cor 5:15; Gal 2:20) Right now, by God's grace, make the most important decision of your life. Holding nothing back, give your life to Jesus, your Ruler, Shepherd, Peace, Savior, Lord, and God.

Prayer:  Father, may I not just keep Christ in Christmas but put myself and Christmas in Christ.

Promise:  "By this 'will,' we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." —Heb 10:10

Praise:  "O come, O Dayspring from on high!"

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, June 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 9, 1997