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Thursday, December 3, 1998

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St. Francis Xavier

Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

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the rock or jingle bell rock?

"Anyone who hears My words and puts them into practice is like the wise man who built his house on rock." —Matthew 7:24

Will Christmas this year be a "flash-in-the-pan" experience or a solid foundation for the new year, the Great Jubilee, and the third millennium? We are increasingly becoming a more unstable people. For most people, jobs don't last as long as they used to. Houses and cars aren't made to last for very long. Even marriages and families don't often endure. We are a people constantly on the move. We are not pilgrims as much as refugees. We are repeatedly leaving somewhere to go nowhere.

However, Christ wants to have mercy on us and build our Christmases and lives on the rock foundation of hearing and doing His word (Mt 7:24). "A strong city have we; He sets up walls and ramparts to protect us" (Is 26:1). "Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock" (Is 26:4).

Let Jesus give you a Christmas you can count on, stand on, and build on. For Jesus to be your "Rock of ages," let Him first be your Rock this Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, stabilize and transform even the most chaotic lives.

Promise:  "He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city He brings down." —Is 26:5

Praise:  One method St. Francis used to spread the gospel successfully in the mission fields was to take popular local melodies and fit lyrics to them which proclaimed the gospel. Native peoples then spread the gospel over wide areas by singing the good news to one another.

Reference:  (Consider reading the Psalms as your Christmas present. You may wish to order our reading checklist, Your Christmas Present: The Psalms, and our Simple Reading Guide to the Wisdom Books.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998