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Sunday, December 17, 2006

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Third Sunday of Advent

Zephaniah 3:14-18
Philippians 4:4-7
Isaiah 12:2-6
Luke 3:10-18

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eight more days

"The crowds asked him, 'What ought we to do?' " —Luke 3:10

There are only eight more repenting days until Christmas. "Let the man with two coats give to him who has none" (Lk 3:11). Our repentance will result in disposing of extra coats, food, and money. "The man who has food should do the same" (Lk 3:11). True repentance transforms both our hearts and our economy. It brings about justice on the job (Lk 3:12-14).

John's baptism is only the first stage of repentance (Lk 3:3). After the baptism of repentance, Jesus gives us the baptism "in the Holy Spirit and in fire" (Lk 3:16). Jesus' baptism is also for repentance. The Spirit convicts us, proves us wrong about sin, justice, and condemnation (Jn 16:8). He puts us in the purifying fire, refining us like gold or silver that we may offer due sacrifice to the Lord (Mal 3:3).

We have only eight more repenting days until Christmas. Confess your sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as possible. There's "more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people" (Lk 15:7). Repent immediately! Then "rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice!" (Phil 4:4)

Prayer:  Father, I rejoice because You love me so much that You sent Your Son Jesus to die for me. I turn my life over to Him and trust You completely.

Promise:  "He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in His love, He will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals." —Zep 3:17-18

Praise:  "O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, You govern all creation with Your strong yet tender care. Come and show Your people the way to salvation."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on The Necessity of Confession for Renewal on audio AV 70-1 or video V-70.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2006

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