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Friday, December 19, 2003

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Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71
Luke 1:5-25

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christmas is for the baptized

"But now you will be mute — unable to speak — until the day these things take place, because you have not trusted my words. They will all come true in due season." —Luke 1:20

As we prepare for Christ's coming this Christmas, we think of Samson's (Jgs 13:5) and John the Baptist's consecrations to the Lord (see Lk 1:15). As we celebrate Jesus' birth, we renew our new birth in Him. In effect, the Christmas season (like every other aspect of Christianity) is a celebration of and renewal of Baptism. As we renew our baptismal promises on the first day of Easter, so let us begin Christmas by renewing and deepening our baptismal consecration and promises.

In these last precious days of Advent, let us prepare to reject Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises. Through repentance, prayer, and abiding in God's word (Jn 8:31), let us grow in faith. Then we can begin Christmas by going to the manger scene and making the greatest act of faith we have ever made.

At the first Christmas, Jesus was ignored or rejected by almost everyone (see Lk 2:7). But a few people believed in Him and loved Him. May you be in that number this Christmas. Prepare to renew your Baptism and live more deeply in faith.

Prayer:  Father, may I not waste a moment of Advent.

Promise:  "The boy grew up and the Lord blessed him; the spirit of the Lord...stirred him." —Jgs 13:24-25

Praise:  "O Flower of Jesse's stem, You have been raised up as a Sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in Your presence; the nations bow down in worship before You. Come, let nothing keep You from coming to our aid."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tapes Baptismal Promises on audio AV 83-1, AV 83-3, AV 84-1, AV 84-3 or our video series that starts with V-83.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003