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Sunday, December 23, 2001

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 7:10-14
Romans 1:1-7
Psalm 24
Matthew 1:18-24

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the advent life of waiting

"Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart to proclaim the gospel of God which He promised long ago through His prophets, as the holy Scriptures record — the gospel concerning His Son..." —Romans 1:1-3

I write this after waiting five hours for my plane to take off in a fog in Louisiana. Then I waited for a couple more hours in Dallas. I feel as if I have been waiting forever, although it's only been seven hours. I will be glad to get home.

Over seven hundred years B.C., Isaiah prophesied that Emmanuel would be born (Is 7:14). The chosen people waited not for seven hours but for over seven hundred years. Surely they felt as if they had been waiting forever. Finally, Emmanuel was born (Mt 1:23). He would show them the way home.

We live in the third millennium of fulfillment. The long-awaited Savior has come over two thousand years ago. However, many people do not know of His coming. They are still waiting — not for the Savior but for us to tell them of the Savior and of the way home.

We, who know of His coming and have accepted Jesus as our Savior, Lord, and God, are waiting for Jesus to come a final time. Therefore, we too are waiting. We want to go home to heaven to be with our Father, to see Jesus face to face, and live the ultimate, eternal life in the Spirit.

It is so difficult to wait. Nevertheless, Christ has come; Christ is coming this Christmas; Christ will come again! Christ will take us home. Our Advent life of waiting will result in an after-life of Christmas. Come, Lord Jesus!

Prayer:  Father, teach us to wait for Jesus' Christmas coming and final coming.

Promise:  "It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this Child. She is to have a Son and you are to name Him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins." —Mt 1:20-21

Praise:  "O Emmanuel, King and Lawgiver, Desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001